A green infrastructure partnership project in Haverfordwest has been named as one of six UK finalists in the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2021.

The Cleddau Reaches project is a finalist in the category for Excellence in Planning for Health and Wellbeing.

The project has created many popular eco-friendly features on the town's rural outskirts, including:

· A new 3km circular path on the banks of the river Cleddau with a new footbridge

· Habitat restoration at the nature reserves at Priory Saltings and the Old Mill grounds (including the creation of artificial otter holts)

· A new kayak access to the river

· Management of invasive non-native species at the Old Mill grounds and flood alleviation measures

· A new living green wall on the riverbank in the town centre

The project has aimed to enhance wellbeing, encourage a better sense of connection between residents/visitors and the natural environment, and restore a heavily modified part of the Cleddau, said Cllr Phil Baker, Pembrokeshire County Council cabinet member for Infrastructure.

"It has also created a much-improved connectivity between Haverfordwest and its beautiful rural surroundings."

He added: "It's been heartening to know how popular the project has been. During lockdown, many local residents in Haverfordwest enjoyed the opportunity to get some fresh air, exercise and explore the countryside and riverbanks on their doorstep and we hope that was beneficial to them."

The Cleddau Reaches scheme is run by Pembrokeshire County Council and involves a range of organisations including Natural Resources Wales, Haverfordwest Town Council, Bridge Meadow Trust, Hywel Dda Health Board, Welsh Government, Haverfordwest Kayak Club, Pembrokeshire College, Bluestone Resort, Norman industries, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and the Landfill Communities Tax.

"One of the reasons the project has been so successful is because of its collaborative nature," said Cllr Baker.

The RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence are the most established and respected awards in the UK planning industry. Running for over 40 years, they celebrate exceptional examples of planning and the contribution planners make to society.

The winners will be announced during a ceremony held virtually in the Awards Room on Evessio at 4pm on Thursday 29 April 2021.


Images 1-4: Pictures taken from the Cleddau Reaches footpath which opened in the Spring last year (the footbridge was opened in July).

Image 5: The living green wall in Haverfordwest.