The National Trust has unveiled plans for a “green corridor” to link the centre of Bath to the surrounding countryside and create new habitat for wildlife.
It is the first of 20 such corridors first announced in January 2020 and will run through 40 hectares of riverside meadows newly acquired by the trust.
Bathampton Meadows, on the banks of the Avon was previously a mixture of farmland and council-owned land, and was once mooted as the site of a proposed park and ride.
The trust has plans for a programme of hedgerow and tree planting along the three-mile route to create a network of foraging habitat to help the declining greater horseshoe bat.
It also intends to improve wetlands to support wading birds and provide a boost for wildflowers and insects.
The corridor is aimed at helping people living in the town centre get closer to nature. A consultation on the proposals is due to start in the spring.
The National Trust has plans to create a further 19 green corridors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by 2030.
Hilary McGrady, director-general of the National Trust, said: “These routes will improve access to nature for those living in urban areas who may feel disconnected from the countryside or cannot access rural areas easily.
“Research has shown that engaging with nature is good for our wellbeing and that those connected to nature are likely to do more to help protect it.”
She added: “Connecting up green spaces isn’t just good for people, it’s also good for wildlife, allowing animals and birds to move from one habitat to another.”