Plans for reed beds in Stonebridge Meadow were supported by Marlborough Town Council at a meeting on Monday night.

The proposal was put forward by Action for the River Kennet (ARK), which jointly owns the meadow with the town council.

Work would involve removing walls and railings along Stonebridge Lane and introducing reed beds, which would filter out pollutants and create a habitat for birds where the ditch runs at the Stonebridge Lane entrance.

But safety concerns were raised by Coun Stuart Dobson over a small open pool area.

Kevin Light for ARK said: “The idea is that the wall and railings come down. There is a very shallow water body at the end of the sequence of the reed beds.

“The reason is there is a weir which enables control of the water level for times of flood and for maintenance.

“When you get down to the very shallow water body I envisage that we would put up a knee rail, just to stop people cycling or walking into it. If they did it would be a matter of a few inches of water.”

The charity is looking at creating a boardwalk across the reed bed to the open space to increase access for walkers. It is anticipated that planning permission for the project will be needed and grant funding will be sought to cover the cost of the work, which is estimated at £20,000.

In the spring there will be a six-week public consultation to allow residents to express their views.