December 9 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
The first part of a £2.4million project to rejuvenate an Ealing park starts this week.
Construction of a new learning centre in Walpole Park kicked off yesterday, with hoardings going up around the old Rick Yard site.
The environmentally-friendly building, which will provide a space for youth and community groups, schools, families and adults to meet, will run a range of activities and host events, and house the park’s new toilet facilities and kiosk.
The new Rick Yard will be located behind the playground in Walpole Park, on the site of an old cowshed which housed hay ricks in the 1800s. The new building will feature a system that collects and reuses rainwater in the building’s toilets, as well as a flat, turfed roof that will be planted with flowers and shrubs to provide a habitat for bees and other insects.
Construction of the Rick Yard marks the first stage of Walpole Park’s extensive improvement works. In 2011, the park was awarded a grant worth £2.4m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to improve and restore the historic landscape and build more community facilities.
A grant of £99,500 was also contributed from The Veolia Environmental Trust, through its Landfill Communities Fund, to go towards building the Rick Yard.
Next month landscapers will move on to the park to begin work on restoring it to how it would have been in the 1800s, in the time of Pitzhanger Manor architect, Sir John Soane.
The work will take place in phases, with certain sections of the park closed off at different times. The first area to be worked on will be the stretch of land behind Pitzhanger Manor, running parallel to Mattock Lane and reaching down to, but not including, the playground. This includes the area around Spencer’s Café, so Ealing Council is currently working to identify a suitable location in the park for a temporary cafe, which would be run by the current café leaseholders.
The phased park improvement works will include improving wheelchair and buggy access throughout the park, repaving and widening the pathways, as well as restoring the heritage bridge, stonework and water features. New grass will be sown in some areas of the park, regency species of trees and flowers will be planted and some areas of ground will be excavated to uncover the heritage landscape. Regency style ornaments and wooden benches will also be installed, and the ponds will be restored to their former glory with better habitats created for local wildlife. New playground equipment will also be installed as part of the improvements.
The new Rick Yard building is expected to be complete by March 2014 and the park works are due to wrap-up in June of the same year.