The look of the river bank alongside Churchill Bridge – in the heart of Bath city centre – is rapidly changing.
Up is going more safety railings to try to prevent people falling into the water and down are coming lines of mature trees – some of which are more than 80 feet tall.
Both developments have to be welcomed. One will play a small but significant role in preventing more drowning tragedies, while the other – drastic though it is – will be a means to an end.
The trees have to come down so work can get underway on remodelling the river bank as part of a multi-million pound flood prevention scheme – shared by B&NES and the Environment Agency – that should provide additional protection for nearby commercial and residential property and allow a massive redevelopment of a river bank site in need of regeneration.
The re-shaping of the bank to allow for greater capacity during periods when the river is engorged with flood water and also allow planners to re-connect the people of Bath with their river.
There is an assortment of visual and written information that has sprung up on notice boards by Churchill Bridge and elsewhere explaining what is happening and why.
You can see how proposed tree-lined riverside terraces will provide a new amenity and route for walkers and cyclists.
Its hoped wildlife will benefit from the plantings which should provide a corridor through the heart of Bath.
The new development is known as the Bath Quay Waterside Project.
There is going to be a great deal of disruption while building work gets underway but also the prospect of something new and exciting to come.
I watched in amazement this morning as a tree surgeon swung from his harness at least sixty to sixty-five feet above my head.
Above his was a swinging crane jib and a cable he was attaching to a giant branch of the poplar he was dismembering.
Once he has cut through – further down the branch – the whole section is then swung out and lowered to the ground.
I hate to see any tree come down but can appreciate the work would be impossible to do without clearing the site first. Time will tell.
A more recent picture showing the now bare riverbank area where the trees once stood. This whole bank will be re-shaped and eventually replanted.