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Issue 337 – Exciting project to make more of the River Frome

A project in Frome is aiming to improve the town centre section of the River Frome into a place which people can access, enjoy, and engage with the natural environment.

An initial application to Natural England for DEFRA’s Nature Improvement Areas scheme has been submitted by the Friends of the River Frome, Mendip District Council, and Frome Town Council; in an initiative to make much more of the river for the town.
Bob Sargent, a local resident and hydrology consultant explained, “What we want to do, as far as Frome is concerned, is to improve the bit in the town centre by the Market Place car park which is not particularly attractive right now. We want to improve the river so it’s nicer and more accessible for people.
“It would be a place in the centre of Frome that would be nice for a picnic and for children to play – we could have places to paddle and benches to sit at.”
Organisations including Vision for Frome, Frome Civic Society, Frome Canoe Club, FROGS, and Sustrans have already expressed their support for the bid.
It is hoped the application will spur plans to improve the whole area. Adam Boyden, Mendip district councillor for Frome College Ward, recently obtained the endorsement of Mendip District Council for the project. He explained that an application has been made to Natural England. “If this is successful, it could bring funds to improve and enhance the river environment which local people and both councils have been hoping for years,” he said.
“In any case, the work done on this could or should lead to the formation of a plan for a linear park along the river that both councils are committed to in the Mendip District Council draft core strategy and Frome Town Council strategic plan. Plans were drawn up years ago for an enhancement scheme by the Environment Agency and councils, but never realised.”
Bob Sargent added, “If we can link this with a linear park we can encourage wildlife as well as people interacting with the natural environment. The key thing is to have a plan and a shared vision, and we want to produce some drawings, outlines, and make them available to the public as well.”
• What do you think? Write to Frome Times, c/o Absolutely Fabulous, 20 Bath Street, Frome, BA11 1DJ or email frometimes@ btconnect. com

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