WORK to convert a former landfill site in Chester into a green space for wildlife and residents is due to begin on Wednesday, February 14.

The Backies, an eight-acre former landfill site, forms part of the Lache Action Plan endorsed by the Council cabinet in November last year.

Lache Cllr Alex Tate said there was hope that the regenerative project could emulate the likes of the Countess of Chester Country Park in the future.

Plans for how the space will be improved for different species of wildlife and as a green space for local people to enjoy are being developed in a partnership between residents and the Council's landscape designer, ecologist and community and regeneration teams.

Some initial works are being carried out to the entrance to the site on February 14 before the bird nesting season begins and should take around a week to complete. This will include works to trees in different states of collapse near paths, removal of diseased trees to allow for an extra pathway into and through the area, and the removal of roots to help make paths level. Concrete posts may also be removed to help improve the grassland and encourage biodiversity and wildlife habitats.

During the works, contractors will be onsite during the day with machinery, a digger and chainsaws. If residents still wish to access the area during this time, it is asked that dogs are kept on a lead.

The Backies is one of four key projects which make up the Lache Action Plan, which also include improved facilities and play equipment for children at Lache Park (Sycamore Drive), the refurbishment of Lache Community Centre and improvements to roads and traffic management on the likes of Hawthorn Road and Poplar Place, making it safer to walk or cycle and boosting the look and feel of the area.

Cllr Nathan Pardoe, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy, Regeneration and Digital Transformation, said:

“We are delighted that work is beginning at The Backies to make this area a great place to be for local people, and to protect and encourage wildlife and biodiversity.

“This is just the first phase of our plans that have been developed in ongoing consultation with residents and the Friends of The Backies group, and we thank everyone involved for their enthusiasm working on this project. We are now working in collaboration to develop the longer-term plan for the site and then put bids together for funding to carry out the next phases of the works for more improvements to the site such as footpaths, benches and a new entrance gate.”

Updates on The Backies project will be posted on a revamped Lache Action Plan website from early March.