The Kingfisher Project Management Group was formed in March 2005 and was made up of residents from the area, the Resident Involvement Officer from Trent & Dove Housing, parish councillors, local authority park ranger and a representative from Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. There has been an average of 30 local residents involved in the project at any one time, along with 5 local schools and a total of 12 local stakeholder agencies. Holding a number of stakeholder consultation events with residents, agencies and schools, five main issues were agreed which became the aims of the project.
The Kingfisher trail.
The Kingfisher Trail an East Staffordshire Borough Council public amenity footpath runs alongside the Trent and Mersey Canal in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire. Within this area, The Kingfisher Project, a community led regeneration project runs for 1.75 miles encompassing ‘The Brook’ a surface rain water drain which was once a place of beauty, where local people would often go to escape the bustle of urban life.
In 2005 public consultation sessions and workshops were organised by the Heart of Burton (a Government funded regeneration initiative which closed in 2008) which highlighted local dissatisfaction with the canal corridor and also it’s potential for positive change. The area had become a dumping ground and was blighted by anti social behaviour including drug dealing and alcohol misuse.
Local residents bemoaned the lack of kingfishers that used to be regularly seen along the canal and ditch. Hence this community led project facilitated and supported by Trent & Dove Housing was launched and named in 2006 and a target was set to encourage the return of the Kingfishers.
As well as the main aims of the project identified at the start, subsidiary projects have been developed by residents to address other issues and improve the quality of life for the whole community.