After four years of planning and development Sutton Council has successfully been granted £3,009,400 from the HLF and Big Lottery Fund Parks for People programme to restore, improve and interpret the 58-hectare park that stretches across Beddington, Hackbridge and Wallington. The works will total £3.7m.
Thanks to hard work from key stakeholders, local residents and the project team the plans will now become a reality. Work due to commence in late 2016 will see a number of visual improvements and new features created including:
Enlarging the children’s playground and introducing more equipment to encourage children of all backgrounds to use the facilities.
Dredging of the lake to create a sustainable solution to the ongoing build-up of silt.
Restoring the Grange Gardens to include a new community orchard.
Improve entrances and signage, including new interpretation boards and materials.
Improve parking and access.
Creating a new garden in the Churchyard Extension.
Habitat improvement to wetlands, woodlands and the stock pond.
A three-year activities and events programme will begin later this year and include children’s activities, fitness opportunities, walks, talks, and a range of volunteering opportunities.
There will be an ambitious programme of repairs to existing footpaths, as well as replacement shrubs and herbaceous planting.
Beddington Park was originally a deer park in the 14th century for the noble Carew family, whose manor house still stands in today. The River Wandle runs through the park and culminates in the lake in the Grange Gardens.
The National Lottery grant will enable the improvement of the park’s lakes and waterways, and the Grange Gardens layout.
The project aims to restore and promote Beddington Park’s historic and nature conservation values, allowing visitors and surrounding communities to actively engage with this fantastic open space.
The improvements to Beddington Park will support the council’s One Planet Living targets around cutting carbon emissions and waste, value the natural environment and support healthy communities through active participation, and provide opportunities for the community to enjoy the park’s open space and heritage.
Sir Peter Luff, HLF’s Chair, said on behalf of HLF and Big lottery Fund:
“It’s clear that our parks are important to us in countless ways – from physical and mental wellbeing to a connection with nature and our heritage. It’s also clear, however, that public parks must work in new ways to respond to the funding challenges they face and this investment, thanks to National Lottery players, will help them to do this.
“We’re delighted to announce this funding today, especially in time for the tenth Love Parks Week, and look forward to a bright future for these parks.”
In 2014 the Beddington Park HLF and Big Lottery Fund Stage One bid successfully gained £251,000 of funding to develop the Parks for People project. The HLF and Big Lottery Fund grant covers £3,009,400 of the Phase Two project costs of £3,706,788.
The Beddington Park project has five key themes to improve the environment:
Access, safety and infrastructure. Work will be undertaken at various entrances to the park, including new gates, railings, planted areas, welcome and visitor information and direction signs. The park boundary will be enhanced, more trees will be planted and succession planning for historic trees, and new noticeboards will have information on the park’s history, wildlife and diversity. The park’s playground will also be made larger and have more play equipment installed.
Activities and events. A project co-ordinator will be employed to support and develop volunteer activities in the park.
Improvements to the large amount of wildlife, plant and animal life within the park, including improvements to the Carew Manor wetland. There will also be activities organised through the volunteer co-ordinator and with other stakeholder groups to improve and understand the park’s biodiversity.
Repairs to existing footpaths, replacement shrubs and herbaceous planting, and changes to the Grange garden layout including an orchard with a meadow. The aim is to use some of the plants and schemes that would have been in the garden when it was created in the 1870s.
Lakes and waterways. Silt will be removed from the stock pond and the main Grange Lake, and there will be river improvements in line with the River Wandle catchment plan, including a newly created separate river channel through the lake. This will ensure there will be no need to de-silt the lake again for many years and meets the sustainability requirements of Sutton Council, the HLF and the Environment Agency.
One Planet Sutton is a vision for the borough where people lead happy, healthy lives with a fair share of the Earth’s resources. Sutton Council has committed to becoming a One Planet Borough by 2025. The council is working in partnership with a wide range of local voluntary and community groups to deliver this vision under the themes of cutting carbon emissions, cutting waste, valuing our natural environment, supporting healthy communities and supporting the local economy. Find out more about the One Planet Sutton initiative here.