Tunnels for newts and frogs and new habitats among the eco features on Upton's new congestion-busting roundabout - The Malvern Observer

Tunnels for newts and frogs and new habitats among the eco features on Upton's new congestion-busting roundabout

Malvern Editorial 17th Feb, 2023   0

TUNNELS for newts and bat friendly lighting are among the environmental measures installed at Upton-upon-Severn’s new congestion-busting roundabout.

The brand new island aimed at improving journey times and accessibility for cyclists and pedestrians is now fully open to traffic.

It replaced a staggered junction which, during the busy festival season around Upton, often suffered with heavy congestion.

Some of the ecological features are easy to see such as three new ponds which have gently sloping edges and will be planted with wildflowers to benefit local pollinators, amphibians and reptiles.

But some of the features are more hidden including culverts for smaller creatures, such as frogs. The tunnels go under the A4104 with fencing to help guide wildlife towards their new habitats.

There are also ‘wildlife friendly kerbs’ to help the newts, frogs and toads avoid highway gullies.

Warmer red lighting has also been placed close to the new wildlife habitats which have been created. The lights will benefit insects and pollinators and also help protect rare species of bats previously recorded there.

Bat friendly streetlights allow bats to move freely between habitats, reducing the impact on general biodiversity.

Coun Richard Morris, Worcestershire County Council Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many measures put in place at this roundabout to improve the environment for the local wildlife.

“Cumulatively, these designs will provide net gains for biodiversity for years to come and help enhance our beautiful countryside.”

Nearly two hectares of new grassland, wetland and wildflower verges have been created around the roundabout and are designed to help wildlife forage and find shelter.

Nearly a kilometre of hedgerow planting and over a third of a hectare of new woodland has been planted using locally appropriate species.

There are pedestrian and cycle crossings on all arms of the roundabout and new three-metre-wide shared footway and cycleways have been installed making it easier for all modes of transport to use the new roundabout.

Visit worcestershire.gov.uk/uptonimprovements for more on the roundabout and the eco benefits.



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