Sunday, December 03, 2006

Skerne Valley

The Skerne at the ward's southern boundary was transformed in 1994. Then a partnership consisting of the EU, Northumbrian Water and the Council returned river meanders to what then little more than a long drain running through a drab open space. The River Restoration Project was part of a Europe-wide initiative, and the results continue to inform river planning today.

The area has now matured. Swans, kingfishers and dragonflies can now be seen in the midst of an urban environment. Even in the depths of winter, the area looks stunning. It's something local people are rightly proud of.

That isn't to say that some tlc isn't needed from time to time. Grafitti on the bridge needs to be cleaned off, and flooding on parts of the footpath make it difficult to negotiate for walkers. The information board has been missing for years, and really needs to be replaced. I'll be raising these points with officers on Monday.


Mike said...

The area was actually not that bad before the restoration, but it's definately better now. There's definately more wildlife.

The tarmac ramps either side of the concrete slab at the end of the bridge are a big improvement for cyclists. The cycle path's overdue for resurfacing though and makes a real mess of bikes and clothes when wet. It needs a similar surface to the riverside path on the Red Hall side of Haughton Road.

Darlington Councillor said...

Thanks Mike.

I used to walk my then infant eldest son in a pushchair down by the river when we lived in Locomotive Street - I wasn't trying to suggest it was a hellhole, but it was a fairly featureless bit of open space.

When I have more news on the cycle/pedestrian path, I'll post here.