Reassurances issued after residents left 'horrified' over appearance of waterside bank

Reassurances have been issued that greenery will return to a waterside bank after residents were left ‘horrified’ by its appearance.

The grass bank which runs along York Stream between the library and York Road has been turned a brown colour after being treated by a weed killer.

This led to concerns being raised on social media and signs being placed on the bank questioning why the work was done.

One Maidenhead resident, Susan Grimshaw, walked by the bank last week and said she was ‘horrified’, ‘disgusted’ and ‘furious’ at what she saw.

She said: “The embankment along the stream has been completely stripped of every single vestige of greenery. It’s just brown and bare.”

But Richard Davenport, chair of trustees at Friends of Maidenhead Waterways, said that the change to the grass embankment is part of a wider improvement scheme to transform the area and that the greenery would return.

He explained that Friends of Maidenhead Waterways had
approached the Royal Borough council to ask if it would agree for volunteers to build steps down to the escape ladders for safety reasons.

In parallel to this, Mr Davenport said Shanly Group came up with a plan to improve the landscaping of the area and address the issue of thistles and nettles, as well as other aspects, including new seating areas and installing a row of silver birches.

He added that the Royal Borough agreed to the plan, and explained that the work on the bank is the first step in that landscaping plan.

“The area has been treated with a weed killer to kill the nettles and the thistles that were growing through the grass and the grass is going to be redone anyway,” he said.

Mr Davenport said that the area is due to be rotavated in the next couple of weeks.

He added: “It will be green again and it will have more trees than before, and it will have public access benches closer to the water and address the safety issue that was our concern in the first place.

“What you are seeing there is the beginning of a scheme that should result in a much greener and better bankside.

“We are not losing anything, except the out-of-control grass and weeds and it will be reinstated with better grass and a lot more greenery so it’s a work in progress and people are, I think, slightly overreacting because they don’t know what’s going on.”

A spokesperson from the Shanly Group, said: “In collaboration with Friends of Maidenhead Waterways and RBWM as part of the ongoing regeneration of the waterways and the wider town, we are making improvements to the south bank of the York Stream.

“The works include landscaping, the creation of a new footpath along the waterway and new seating areas to allow the community to enjoy the new riverbank environment.

“The works will take approximately eight weeks.”

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