£2m Lottery bid to fund park makeover

PUBLISHED: 11:36 17 January 2008 | UPDATED: 12:46 06 May 2010

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A MASTER Plan for Verulamium Park in St Albans has been drawn up and will now be submitted for lottery funding. Following public consultation, including events specifically aimed at teenagers, the district council Cabinet has signed off the new master pla

A MASTER Plan for Verulamium Park in St Albans has been drawn up and will now be submitted for lottery funding.

Following public consultation, including events specifically aimed at teenagers, the district council Cabinet has signed off the new master plan and agreed to a lottery bid.

But the master plan will only be implemented in phases as money becomes available so a lot of the proposals on the wish list might not happen until well into the future.

The proposals take in improvements to the London Gate entrance to the park to recreate the experience of entering the historic Verulamium City with better interpretation boards and easier access to the Roman Wall.

Bird and bat boxes will be installed to encourage nesting opportunities while new tree and hedgerow planting will provide better habitats.

New children's play areas aimed at age groups from under-fives, five to nine years and nine to 11 will be situated closer to the Splash Park while a creative play area using hammocks, trampolines and cycle paths will be created in the centre of the park for older children and teenagers.

New tennis and netball courts will be situated closer to Westminster Lodge and easily accessible jogging paths created around Ver Meadow as well as woodland walks along the City Ditch.

Finally restoration work will get underway to secure the future of the lakes including the removal of silt, installation of fountains, marginal planting and viewing platforms.

The aim of returning the River Ver closer to a chalk stream will also involve the removal of silt, new planting and the construction of a rill providing feed to a new Mill Pond.

The bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund will be for £2 million and if successful, it will require some match funding from the district council and other sources.

Among other issues which emerged from the consultation was cycling provision through the park but there will be further discussions before any scheme is adopted.

Cllr Robert Donald, chair of the Verulamium Heritage Park steering group, said: "Over 1,000 individuals and groups have taken part in the consultation on the future of Verulamium Park which is one of St Albans District's greatest treasures and our premier open space.

"We now have a plan that expresses the hopes and aspiration of the community for the future of the park. These are exciting proposals that will improve the park's unique environmental features, heritage interpretation and recreational facilities for the 21st century.

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