Paris Street Roundabout
As part of the Exeter Wild City project, Devon Wildlife Trust and Exeter City Council have teamed up to turn Paris Street roundabout into a wildlife haven and showcase for wildlife friendly gardening.
The proposal is to create a high quality landscape design that will transform the roundabout into an attractive landscape feature at the entrance to the city centre which showcases the potential for urban green spaces to benefit wildlife. In tandem Devon Wildlife Trust will provide information on their website, helping people to turn their gardens into beautiful, low maintenance wildlife havens.
The scheme will be carefully designed using insect attracting plants, stone walls and sculptural log piles to attract beneficial insects and birds. In addition a sculptural tower will provide a nesting site for Swifts - one of Exeter's most distinctive urban species and an important migratory species that relies on buildings for nest sites. The tower will provide 16-24 swift nest boxes, and will initially use recorded swift calls to attract swifts to the site.
The proposed landscape will also include:
A PDF concept plan can be downloaded below:
In Summer 2012 a public consultation, publicised in the Exeter Citizen, on local radio and in the local press and by posters around the site attracted 50 responses, with 86% of respondents in favour of the scheme and strong support for the provision of a swift tower. A summary of the consultation can be found here: Paris Street Consultation Response Summary [425kb]
Swifts are a unique bird that only nest in buildings. However nest sites are often lost when older buildings are refurbished or demolished. Swift nests need to be at least 5m above the ground to allow the young swifts to successfully launch themselves into the air. Once they start flying the young swifts won't land again until they set up a nest of their own. Swifts migrate to Africa each year, returning to the UK each Spring - their distinctive 'screaming parties' are a familiar site in many areas of Exeter during the Summer months. For more information visit the Swift conservation website.
The scheme will be funded from a £40,000 planning (s106) contribution from Jury's Inn hotel, Western Way. This funding must be committed by December 2013 and can only be spent on 'public art' projects close to the hotel.
Exeter Wild City is a partnership between Devon Wildlife Trust and Exeter City Council. The aim of the partnership is to enhance wildlife in Exeter. For more information visit the Exeter Wild City website.