The gate is surrounded by a new wildflower meadow that will be both a beautiful spectacle for visitors and a haven for insect life. Re-opening it means people can now access the park from opposite Keble College rather than having to walk along Parks Road to the Ginkgo Gate, halfway to the junction with Banbury Road.
Plans to re-open the gate had to wait for power cables uncovered during the Beecroft project to be re-buried and protected by the electricity distribution company. The gate was relocated a short distance during construction, to provide an attractive link to the landscaped area outside the new building.
Parks gardeners have completed work re-instating the paths around the gates, along with grass verges and an ornamental border which will be planted over the coming months. The main area around the gate, meanwhile, will become a wildflower meadow after imported turves were laid in an effort to bring a more natural feel to what has always been one of the more formal and urban corners of the Parks.
The meadow consists mainly of native species but is enriched with a few non-natives to add interest and extend the flowering season. The meadow will provide much-needed habitat for insects next year, and should transform the area into a beautiful and unique space greeting visitors as they enter the park. At the moment the area is cordoned off to protect the meadow while it establishes itself.
The next steps will involve removing the temporary pathways, filling in the gap left behind when the gate was moved and extending the wildflower meadow further into the park along with the borders next to it, which are full of ornamental grasses, lilies and flowering perennials.