Search

Park restoration project launched

PUBLISHED: 09:45 14 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:00 22 October 2010

LORNA MARSH

A dream to restore historically important parkland to its former glory and open it up to the public for the first time should become a reality next summer, it was revealed yesterday.

A dream to restore historically important parkland to its former glory and open it up to the public for the first time should become a reality next summer, it was revealed yesterday.

During the launch of work to restore Catton Park - famous for being landscape designer Humphrey Repton's first paid commission - Richard Jewson, Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, said it would open to visitors in June 2007.

Mr Jewson, who is also chairman of EDPpublisher Archant, joined other guests to mark the first stages of work to renovate the 18th-century park next to Old Catton Hall, on the edge of Norwich.

Grants totalling almost £900,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and local councils have enabled the trust to lease the park from the Buxton family and Norfolk County Council so that it can be renovated for public enjoyment.

Environmental consultants will be engaged for the restoration, and a full-time park warden will be employed to oversee the work.

Plans for the 28-hectare site include returning the arable land to wild flower meadow grassland, restoring the natural wood boundaries, creating nature trails and a picnic area.

Local schools will be encouraged to use the park for outdoor learning supported by information leaflets on the park's history and habitat.

Mr Jewson said: “This is very important and very exciting from many, many points of view. It will provide a great facility for the people from the surrounding area and I think it is just wonderful to find this 18th-century park is still here and work will be done to restore it.

“So many people think our heritage is bricks and mortar but this landscape heritage is equally important.”

Ken Leggett, who spearheaded the trust's campaign to restore the park, said: “This is a tremendous day because it really is the beginning of a dream project.”

David Thompson, chairman of the Catton Park Trust, appealed to businesses and members of the public to help the restoration project by donating tools and a mini tractor.

“We want to make the park more enjoyable by opening up walks through the woodland, cutting grass pathways through the wild flower meadow and creating a picnic space and dog-free area,” he said.

Anyone interested in making a donation in kind or cash to the Catton Park Trust Project should contact Ken Leggett on 01603 408823 or email ken.leggett@btinternet.com.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press