Work is underway as part of an ambitious £3.7m project to restore, conserve and enhance the historic Beddington Park.
Sutton Council was successfully awarded £3m in funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and also some funding from the Big Lottery last year. The project is being shaped by local residents and stakeholders, including the Friends of Beddington Park, who are all keen to make their environment even better - writes newsroomsutton.co.uk.
Improvements to the lake are a key part of the project, and the lake will be dredged to remove years of build-up of material. This week water levels on the lake will be gradually lowered ready for dredging work to begin. Specialist contractors, the Environment Agency and stakeholders are working together to ensure wildlife is safe, with fish being removed as the water levels drop and waterfowl naturally relocating.
Works will continue throughout the rest of this year, with the project anticipated to finish in April 2018. Updated information on works can be found on notice boards in the park, and on the Friends of Beddington Park website.
Some of the works being carried out include:
- improvements to park entrances
- Improved access and parking
- installation of interpretation panels
- restoration and improvements to the Grange Garden (to include an apple orchard)
- development of a new garden space in the churchyard extension
- dredging and improvement works to the lake and stock pond
- the enlargement and improvement of the children’s playground
The project also involves the delivery of a three year programme of activities and events, including a range of walks and talks, children’s activities, exercise programmes, art and theatre events as well as a volunteer programme providing training and volunteer opportunities throughout the park.
Cllr Jill Whitehead, chair of the environment and neighbourhood committee, said: “This is a very exciting project which promises to make Beddington Park an outstanding highlight of the borough for residents and visitors.
“Inevitably the scale of the works means there will be some disruption to daily park use, for which I apologise in advance.
“Rest assured that we are doing everything to carefully protect and preserve the wildlife, and by the Spring the park will really start to come to life and be back to its very best.”
Signs and information boards in the park will highlight temporary path closures and alternative routes. Further information can also be found on Twitter or by subscribing to the mailing list .
The 58 hectare Beddington Park originated as a deer park in the 14th century for the noble Carew family, whose manor house still stands in the park today and is now Carew Academy. The River Wandle runs through the park.
Beddington Park is one of the richest archaeological sites in south west London with evidence of settlements dating back to the late Bronze Age. The discovery of a Roman stone coffin in 1930 suggests a grand Roman villa and bath house once stood to the north side of the park.
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