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From next week, visitors to York Minster’s College Green, will see the start of the first phase of an improvement project that will see the area transformed from an uninspiring thoroughfare into a fully accessible, landscaped green space extensively planted with trees, shrubs and flower species to create a flourishing oasis in the heart of the city of York.
Supported by The York BID, Make it York, York Minster Fund and the Friends of York Minster, the project received planning permission from City of York Council at the end of last year. It will be delivered over two phases throughout 2022.
Phase 1 will see a new path laid, high quality accessible benches along the southerly wall of the green and the planting of trees and plants specifically selected for biodiversity and their resilience to the busy city location. Five trees assessed as diseased and dying will be removed and replaced with seven, healthy mature white cherry blossom trees. These will provide an excellent food source for pollinating insects emerging in early spring as well as spectacular blossom.
Two trees on Queen’s Path that have been assessed as unsafe – a dying crab apple and a diseased cherry blossom tree – will also be removed. The cherry blossom will be replaced immediately with a healthy new tree. The area around the crab apple tree will be incorporated into the landscaping designs for the public area planned for the new Welcome Centre. Phase 2 of the works will see the introduction of a sculptural stone feature, stepping stones and wildflower meadow. The stone feature will be carved by the Minster’s stone masons and provide additional informal seating to compliment Phase 1 improvements.
The Revd Canon Michael Smith, Acting Dean of York, said: “Our ambition is to transform College Green into a beautiful and peaceful space full of trees, flowers, shrubs and wildlife for the local community and for visitors to enjoy.”
Andrew Lowson, Executive Director at The BID said: “It’s exciting to see work start on this project which will greatly enhance York’s open spaces, creating a beautiful family-friendly park. With a wonderful view and surrounded by local independent businesses, it’s sure to become a valuable community asset.”
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