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Town Meadow Group Plan

Past

In April 2012 local Brewer Hall & Woodhouse, who own the Red Lion in Gillingham, agreed to loan half of the land behind the Red Lion to Gillingham Town Council at a rate of £1 a year on a 25 year lease. Hall & Woodhouse also started the fund to develop the Meadow with a donation of £1500. Planning work began with consultations on how to develop the Meadow and the Town Meadow Group was set up. The Environmental Agency was consulted for advice on how to minimise disruption to local wildlife and local expert Elizabeth Kendall was contacted for additional planting advice.

In 2013 a hard landscape area was constructed that could take heavy vehicles. Electrical points were installed, a path was laid with benches and with bins at useful points. Cherry trees and two roses were planted behind Chan's Restaurant and bulbs were planted by the river. Wooden fencing and barriers to the car park were installed. The soil level of the meadow was raised to reduce the width of the current hard landscape. Functional lighting was installed behind Chan's.

In Spring 2014 two bespoke blends of grass and wildflowers were sown to accommodate the different conditions in the Meadow. In July 2014 major drainage issues were resolved. In November 2014 a tree was planted along the river to replace those damaged by the spring storms. A hedge and some trees were planted alongside Chan's. The hard landscape had further gravel added and was rolled.

In Summer 2015 two noticeboards were installed and a bench was added overlooking the river in memory of Jackie Kemp. In Autumn two planters were installed and ferns were planted near the access ramp.

In 2016 new metal gates were installed. The new planters were planted up. Headers for the noticeboards were installed. Further trees were planted. A bench was installed in memory of Brenda Wathen. The metal railings along the High Street pathway were painted black to enhance a historic look. The dry stone wall at the rear of Chan's was rebuilt with the help of Revd Tim Heaton (St Mary the Virgin Church, Gillingham).

In 2017 a lottery bid was won with the help of Louise Plumridge the former Community Resource Worker to install child safety railings where the riverbank is steep. These were chosen with the help of the Town Council to blend with others in Gillingham and installed in July.

Present

Pathway lighting is currently being installed to improve safety and access.

Future

An additional small structure may be added for community use. This may be an ornamental bandstand or gazebo. Further planting is needed near the rebuilt dry stone wall.

Work is ongoing to ensure that the Meadow meets community and commercial needs.