The Cass Foundation, with support from The Mersey Forest team, has managed an ambitious programme to de-culvert and realign the River Alt between East Lancashire Road and Parkstile Lane. Alongside these major earth-moving operations, a new riverside green space, Alt Meadows, has been created around the watercourse. This river restoration initiative will improve water quality, reduce the risk of flooding and create new wildlife habitats in the heart of Croxteth, Liverpool.
The new parkland is also key to local economic growth. The site connects people living in Croxteth with the Stonebridge Cross retail and educational hub, as well as providing a high quality setting for adjacent economic development.
Once a straight 300m underground channel, this section of the Alt now meanders through green space and is 870m long. The new park will be the 48th in the city, and will improve local access by including new walking and cycling routes linking housing, with places of employment, shops, schools and public transport.
New wetland habitats and a wildlife meadow mean that the park represents a significant boost to local biodiversity. Tree planting was an important part of the scheme with local schools and the community pitching in to help as part of the Big Tree Plant in The Mersey Forest.
This transformative project has been a great example of public and voluntary sector partnership.
The project was made possible with £970,000 from the Environment Agency's Catchment Restoration Fund grant, and over £750,000 from Liverpool City Council. The Community Forest Trust has acted as the accountable body for the main grant with staff from the Mersey Forest team helping to evaluate the scheme and manage the finances.