The Maidstone Approach Improvement Project was an initiative to pilot enhance the street scene and landscaping on the key arterial route – the Ashford Road between Willington Street and King Street.
Carried out by the MBC Street Scene and Grounds Maintenance teams, the project was introduced to support two of the Council’s Strategic Priorities of Safe Clean and Green and a Thriving Place. The work included a ‘deep clean’ to remove detritus from the Mote Park wall, the cutting back of vegetation and removal of 20 tonnes of debris to help shape wild areas to enhance biodiversity and enable habitat development along the route.
To help improve the appearance of the route to ‘welcome’ residents and visitors to Maidstone, the project saw the creation of heritage features celebrating the borough and complementing the Council Go Green Go Wild scheme. The installations included two 12foot wildlife wooden sculptures, a 14foot Iguanodon carving, a bug hotel, a cast-iron townscape silhouette, three iron bicycle sculptures and interpretation information boards to detail the work and its relevance to the town.
Chairman of the CHE Committee – Cllr Derek Mortimer said:
“This project has proved to be a wonderful opportunity to enhance the street scene for the enjoyment of our residents and visitors along this busy approach road. It not only enhances the appearance of the road but supports wildlife in the process whilst promoting cycling and walking along the route too.
“The heritage element of the County Town is important, and this has also been recognised. Hopefully we can continue this initiative on other approach roads around the town in future and congratulations must go to our ‘in-house’ teams for their sterling work on such a busy route as this.”
The MBC teams also planted new trees, created a wild-flower meadow and planted 20,000 spring bulbs. They also installed a new bus shelter, bollards, signage, and repainted streetlights.
The Council is now planning to introduce similar improvement projects on other arterial routes around the borough of Maidstone.