WORK is under way on Chester's new 'sunken garden' complete with urban Supertree sculptures.

Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) has released images of the development site as well as artist impressions of how the attraction will look once finished.

Chester and District Standard:

Progress on the 'sunken garden' inside the Hoole Way roundabout.

The garden, described as a 'community oasis', sits below ground level in the middle of a busy roundabout linking Hoole Way and St Oswald's Way.

It is a main entrance into the city centre from Newtown, Brook Street, Chester Train Station and Chester Bus Interchange.

Council chiefs say the 7.5 metre high Supertrees will allow various climbing plants to thrive in the city, increasing the plant, animal and insect diversity.

The project has been conceived by the ForEST (For Eco Supertrees) community group and has been designed and delivered in partnership with CWaC and ForEST.

Council leader Cllr Samantha Dixon said: “The vision is for a community oasis for residents, commuters and shoppers.

Chester and District Standard:

Councillor Samantha Dixon with Neil Jay, general manager of West Cheshire Credit Union. The credit union has an office overlooking the Hoole Way Sunken Garden.

"The works are improving the quality of the public open space and accessibility. In recent years the site has suffered from anti-social behaviour and restricted accessibility. The improvements include the removal of overgrown vegetation and adding new low maintenance planting which will retain clear sight lines and new ramped access.

“We are also working with Chester Zoo who will use the garden as an education space to connect the natural world with the city.”

Work began in April and the tree sculptures are being installed in early April. This will require a lane closure on the roundabout for approximately two weeks.

Chester and District Standard:

How the Supertrees will look.

Like any garden, the ForEST community group plan to add to and develop the garden as time goes by using volunteers from the local community.

The ForEST group secured £25,000 towards the project from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Pocket Parks Plus grant. A grant of £48,000 has been provided through WREN’s FCC Communities Action Fund.

Section 106 funding of £48,000 and New Homes Bonus funding of £51,442 has also been used for this project.

The inspiration for the Chester Supertrees project came from Sir David Attenborough as the final episode of his Planet Earth II documentary showed the success of Supertree Grove in Singapore’s nature park and botanical garden.

He talked about the ecosystems that exist within cities, in particular the Gardens by the Bay project, where the Supertrees are located. An environment was created through metal structures supporting a variety of plant life that would not usually grow in a city.

Chester’s Supertrees are on a much smaller scale but still aims to achieve some of the same environmental and social goals as Singapore.

WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, biodiversity and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.