New look for favourite park

CHRISTCHURCH park could be in for a revamp if a bid for more than £4million funding is given the go-ahead.A project to restore the park's paths, ponds and some of its buildings has now reached its second phase to be scrutinised by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

CHRISTCHUCH park could be in for a revamp if a bid for more than £4million funding is given the go-ahead.

A project to restore the park's paths, ponds and some of its buildings has now reached its second phase to be scrutinised by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Friends of Christchurch Park in conjunction with archaeologists, historians and architects have now drawn up plans to show how the park should look if the £4.3million is awarded.

Lindsey Wilkinson from Landscape Design Associates has been involved in drawing up plans for the revamp.

She said they have tried to respect the centuries of history the park holds while also making it modern and useable.

She said: "People no longer promenade – they tend to jog these days.

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"We are aware that people want a modern park but there is a lot of history here and some of the trees are three to four hundred years old."

Ms Wilkinson said that the original design plans for the park over the years had been considered for the new format.

What was once long medieval pond close to the Fonnereau Road entrance is now lined with trees, which should outline the old pond.

It is intended that there will be some paving and possibly benches to subtly mark the outline of where the pond once lay when there was a 12th century priory there.

An old pond is also hoped to be reinstated in the bird reserve area.

Shaun Taylor from Ipswich Borough Council said that the toilets near the Bolton Road entrance are to be demolished and also a building at the back of the mansion.

A new management building should then be built which will have a seminar room.

The Lower Arboretum area will also see some change with a ranger's hut and a kiosk area serving the tennis courts being built.

As well as new buildings there will also be maintenance work on pathways and tidying up of the existing ponds in the park.

The project has been underway since 1999 and if the bid is accepted the more major work could begin next year.

n. What do you think? Write to us at Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN.

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