Otter family’s home due for a facelift

The Family of Otters sculpture in Bourton Park, Buckingham PNL-140916-155208001
The Family of Otters sculpture in Bourton Park, Buckingham PNL-140916-155208001

A town park is in line for a major facelift and residents are being asked for their input.

Bourton Park, in Buckingham, has a stream that is fed from the River Great Ouse, and a series of four ponds which have become silted up while natural erosion and signal crayfish burrows have damaged the stream’s banks.

Buckingham Town Council plans to remove an estimated 2,000 tonnnes of silt from the four ponds, and put a system in place to minimise future build-up. It wants to make the ponds more accessible to visitors and give children more contact with water and wildlife.

It also wants to restore about 160m of bank which is badly eroded.

The pond by the Family of Otters sculpture is badly silted up and overgrown and is now almost unusable for children, who in the past would play in the shallow water.

Two ideas for this pond are to provide a pond-dipping area with a deck out over the pond, and to create a safe paddling area for youngsters.

Town councillors are after suggestions from people on what they would like to see in the area and what could replace the Family of Otters sculpture, which is worn out and in need of replacement.

The town council is applying for grant money to fund the work.

Environment committee chairman Mike Smith said: “This is a very welcome proposal for a signature area of our lovely park.

“I look forward to receiving suggestions by local residents about how the Otter Pond might be enhanced and what to replace the otter sculptors with, and look forward to this much-needed work going ahead.

“It can only enhance a key area of our town.”

Email your suggestions to Greenspaces@buckingham-tc.gov.uk, or comment on the Buckingham Town Council Facebook page.