For the last two years we have been working hard researching and surveying the park land. This means that we are now ready to start a number of new restoration and development project this year.
We will be working on a major restoration programme for our unique cleft oak fencing. Alex Moir and his team have been on site and have already replaced the first 50 meters in West Park. They will be working with us until August and we are aiming to complete 800 meters by the end of August.
[Alex has recently joined twitter and has been sharing photos and news of this work on his twitter and facebook feeds]
Our second major restoration project is the Ha-ha. If you visit us regularly you will know that a large section collapsed last year. Before we could even begin work we needed to get the whole wall surveyed by our structural engineer, then we had to dig pits so that our archaeologist could record details of the original wall and how it was built, we had to ask our conservator to select the correct bricks (and we will need to do several tests to make sure we get the right mortar) for the rebuild and we needed to apply for listed building consent. As you can imagine this has been along process but we are now hoping to start work over the next few weeks and the work will take over two months to complete (weather permitting).
Our tree management plan has begun with 20 new oak trees being planted in Front and Hill Park. These will be joined by another 40 at the end of the year. Our wonderful tree surgeon, Neil Mclean will be working with us this year to help us create our own veteran tree management plan – we will be starting with the management of the stunning 300 year old Lime Avenue in West Park.
Once the ground dries out a little more we will be able to start sowing our special grass seed mix on new land and our wildflower mix in Places Meadow
The last of our 10 new benches are now on site. These were made by the team at Dudmaston from their own grown timber so it’s great to think that we helped to support them in their conservation work. The benches will start going out over the next few weeks and will be placed at key view points around the park land.
As we move into March we will be upgrading all of our livestock handling facilities ready for lambing in April. I am really looking forward to being more involved and hands on with the lambing this year.
In addition to all of the new projects we will continue our restoration, repair and replacement programme for all of the park fences and tree guards. We are also hoping to raise funds for the restoration of all of the park bridges and the gates into Places Meadow. We will also be developing our new park information area and hopefully bringing pigs back to Charlecote!
Working with our Visitor services team we will also be running a number of new activities and events this year to increase the access and information available about the park. How about joining us for an early morning park check, or our new children’s tractor rides, family deer safaris or why not come and ‘Ramble with the Ranger’. Keep an eye on the events page on our website for more information throughout the year!
So as you can see it’s going to be a really busy year for us with lots of new projects happening. We will be posting plenty of updates on the work as it progresses. But why not pop in and see all of these projects in action and meet the team.
And here is a lovely photo to finish with – the new nuts we are feeding the deer are going down really well!
Lisa, Park and Garden Manager