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  • by Trevor Loveday

Chester wetland centre comes into focus as Binnies lays base

A project to develop a wetlands centre at the Countess of Chester Country Park has progressed to detailed design stage following foundational work delivered by Binnies UK.


The new centre, which is anticipated to begin construction in 2025 following this current phase, aims to create a thriving wetlands habitat that also provides recreational space and community access benefits.


The initiative to create a landscape-scale habitat will “deliver Water Framework Directive benefits,” to improve the water quality of the area and restore a degraded watercourse that runs alongside a historical landfill site Binnies said.


Binnies UK project coordinator, Mark Boothroyd, said a natural capital appraisal was undertaken to identify and value the potential benefit of the project in terms of biodiversity, air quality and carbon sequestration.

Binnies UK Project Coordinator Mark Boothroyd said natural capital appraisals undertaken in 2021 “demonstrate that this will bring significant benefits to the wider environment and the community.


“The wetland site, once completed, will remove a projected 53 tCO₂e a year, helping to address climate change. We were also able to assess the recreational and health benefits of the plans and estimate that the scheme will deliver £2.2 million present value benefit over the next 100 years.”


Cheshire West and Chester Council, supported by The Land Trust, the Environment Agency, the Friends of the Countess of Chester Country Park and Bangor University, is working through the detailed design stages before raising funds to be in place during 2024.

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