In the early stages it was necessary to guage if there was community support for this project. Initial meetings with local residents' groups indicated yes, but it was decided to hold two key events to judge the degree of support.
In the summer a Hay Raking day was held and people were invited to join in a exercise to remove grass cuttings to prevent them composting: a valuable aid to improving growing conditions for wild flowers. This event was very well supported.
Also to build awareness across the City, a photography competition and exhibition was organised to allow the natural beauty of the site to be captured, and also to test the willingness of sponsors to come forward by providing prizes or assistance in kind with the competition. This proved a major popular success with more than 500 photos submitted and more than 1400 visitors.
On the basis of strong and growing support it was decided to prepare a funding bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund, which was submitted in October 2014. In December this bid was approved and a 2015 start to the project proper could be planned.