Plans to combine two green spaces in Bishop’s Stortford into one beautiful park have taken another huge step forward thanks to National Lottery funding.
The grant of £1,939,700, awarded jointly by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Big Lottery Fund, will enable Bishop’s Stortford Town Council (BSTC) and its partner, East Herts District Council (EHC), to forge ahead with their plans.
Castle Gardens, owned by EHC, and Sworders Field, owned by BSTC, are located either side of the River Stort. The project will bring these two green spaces together under the banner of ‘Castle Park’, to become an exciting, vibrant place for the town and surrounding communities to enjoy.
The improvements include:
Making Waytemore Castle - a Grade I listed building and scheduled monument - and the war memorial, commemorating those lost in the two world wars, the prime focal points of the park. This includes crucial work to conserve the castle remains on the top of the mound.
A new crossing will be constructed along the River Stort, providing greater access to the river. Attractive planting and restoration of the river will improve visibility and draw rare wildlife into the area, and with the right conditions even water voles and otters could be spotted.
A new network of paths to improve access for the community, including older and disabled people. The children’s play area and splash pool will be better connected by the new bridge.
Teens will have a space designed especially for them, with exciting features such as a new skate park extension.
Considerable changes will be made to the existing buildings to create a new community space with a café and easy access “Changing Places” toilets, providing improved facilities for local people and visitors. The old toilet block fronting the Causeway will be given a new lease of life.
The recently established Friends Group, supported by a new community engagement officer, will help to develop and look after the park and engage local community groups, with training being provided to help this happen. The work to successfully obtain this grant has already been supported by the History Society, the Civic Federation and local residents interested in the project.
A number of events for the community, such as guided walks, will be arranged from April, further details of these will be shared shortly.
The project continues to benefit from the support of Hertfordshire County Council’s Countryside Management Service. A planning application for the works involved has been submitted and will be considered by the East Herts District Council Development Management Committee shortly.
National Lottery and public parks
Since 1996, more than £950million raised by National Lottery players has been used to support the regeneration, conservation and increased enjoyment of public parks and cemeteries across the UK. Find out more about how to apply at https://www.hlf.org.uk/looking-funding/what-we-fund/landscapes-parks-nat...
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About Big Lottery Fund
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