Freshford Mill, a site six miles south-east of Bath, set in beautiful Cotswolds countryside, is due to be transformed from a dilapidated site of abandoned buildings to a thriving development of 21 homes, where residents will be connected to the rural beauty that surrounds them. The site is surrounded by unspoilt woodland and pastures which are teeming with beautiful English wildlife. The development itself is designed to be a nature haven with several
wildlife-friendly features, such as native trees, hedge and wildflowers planted to provide a habitat for insects and birds.
The site lies in the quintessentially English village of Freshford, voted one of the most desirable villages in England, set in the southernmost part of the Cotswolds ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. However, despite its tranquillity, its proximity to nature and stunning rural views, the mill is just ten minutes’ walk from Freshford train station, and from here residents can be in the centre of Bath in just ten minutes.
One of Freshford Mill’s main features will be a lovely wildlife lake, planted with native plants to attract bats and merge with a wildflower meadow, which is particularly attractive to bees. Nature lovers will be able to enjoy the lake from walkways, boardwalks and a viewing platform. Birds such as Swallows and House Martins will swoop in to catch insects from the lake, and build nests nearby. Benches around the lake will allow residents to take in the views up to Limpley Stoke Valley and to the top of Freshford Village.
The riverbank is a great place for keen resident anglers to drop their lines in search of abundant stocks of barbel, chubb, pike, roach, dace or perch to name but a few! Because of Environ’s commitment to the local community, as well as the local environment, a special island nature reserve will be available to children from the local primary school to enjoy. Children will be able to see birds, various types of fish, and even the occasional otter swimming by!
An orchard is to be planted with local varieties of apple, pear and plum which will ultimately reach about ten feet in height, and there will be allotments on site so that residents can grow their own fruit and vegetables and further connect with the great outdoors. Another nature-friendly feature at Freshford Mill is a butterfly garden, located in what used to be a derelict folly, with seating built into the wall, providing the perfect place for residents to view the butterflies.
One of Environ’s guiding principles is New Urbanism, which promotes the design of living spaces that connect to the local, natural environment and the plans at Freshford are a great example of this. The connection between the development and the nature that surrounds the site will help to create a sense community and wellbeing for those who live there.