Historic park restorations get £34.5m lottery funding

Canal pond in Russell Gardens Thomas Mawson's canal pond is one of the features of Russell Gardens in Dover

Historic parks and cemeteries across England are to be restored with £34.5m lottery funding after a report focused on the decline of public green spaces.

The 12 projects include Beckenham Place Park in Lewisham, south-east London, which gets nearly £5m.

Gunnersbury Park, Ealing and Cassiobury Park, Watford, each get more than £4m.

In Kent, Dover District Council will get more than £3m to restore Kearsney Abbey and Russell Gardens to boost tourism and community use.

Parks to get HLF grants

  • Beckenham Place Park, Lewisham - £4,908,400
  • Gunnersbury Park, Ealing - £4,671,000
  • Cassiobury Park, Watford - £4,534,900
  • Kearsney Abbey and Russell Gardens, Dover - £3,389,400
  • Beddington Park and Grange, Sutton - £3,203,900
  • Levengrove Park, Dumbarton - £2,660,800
  • Hemel Water Gardens, Hemel Hempstead - £2,467,700
  • Pearson Park, Hull - £2,343,600
  • Avenue House, Finchley -£2,154,700
  • Moor Park, Preston - £1,725,000
  • Northwood Cemetery, Isle of Wight - £1,064,000
  • Victoria Park, Ilkeston - £740,800
  • Ampthill Park, Bedfordshire - £606,800

One park in Scotland - Levengrove in Dumbarton - is among those receiving funding.

It comes after a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) report last month which said the nation's public parks would be at serious risk of decline without new methods of providing finance and maintenance.

The HLF said there would be restoration of historic features, such as bandstands and gatehouses, as well as provision of new entertainment such as skateboard parks and children's play areas.

For example, the restoration being done in Dover will showcase the work of Edwardian landscape architect Thomas Mawson in Russell Gardens.

His canal pond, Palladian-style pergola bridges and boathouse pavilion form central architectural features of the park.

At Kearsney Abbey opposite the gardens, the Festival of Britain open air theatre will be restored and the cafe extended.

Leader of Dover council, Paul Watkins, said he was delighted the lottery funds were supporting the park restoration.

"These parks are highly valued by local people and its great to know that we can progress our plans to maintain, enhance and interpret this unique heritage," he said.

Hemel Water Gardens Hemel Water Gardens is to get £2,467,700 as its share of the £34.5m National Lottery funding

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