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Town Park Restoration- Update Spring 2016

The Heritage Lottery Funded (HLF) works to the Town Park are nearing completion:

• Landscaping: The contractors Blakedown will be visiting the site from March 2016 on a regular basis to maintain the planted areas in the Water Garden and next to Pets’ Corner, and the Walled Garden.

• Building works: We are continuing to work with the contractor to ensure that the remaining building work to Spurriers House, the bandstand and the new Learning Centre are completed, and any snagging issues are resolved.

View of Spurriers House from South

• Please note that Thames Water have fenced off areas around the stream for reseeding once the warmer weather is here and are not connected with the HLF works.

• Pets' Corner had a positive annual Zoo and Environmental Health inspection and were busy during the February half-term school holiday with visitors.

• Town Park volunteers have cut back laurel from the Park Lane entrance to Peace Wood and removed ivy from adjacent hedges and walls which has made it more welcoming to visitors. They have planted another 150 beech and hawthorn shrubs in gaps along its length.

• Walled Garden volunteers have started filling up the raised beds for planting vegetables from Spring onwards, and the Land-based Studies students, from a number of Academies in the town, have sown seeds in trays for planting later in the year.

• Spurriers House café: We are currently working with a preferred bidder who has a track record of operating similar park facilities in Hertfordshire. It is hoped the café will open in the spring.

We are keen to speak to anyone whose relatives worked at the house, or who has any

information or photos of the house, as we hope to have information on it and Netteswell Cross in the new café. If anyone has any information please contact Mike Levett.

• Kier staff have been clearing areas of the Newfoundland Garden which have become overgrown and has revealed some of the original shrubs.

• Things to look out for in Spring: Some daffodils and crocuses are appearing in both the Specimen and Water Garden; Magnolia trees are producing white creamy flowers at the entrance off Park Lane.

Sunday 1st May: Pets’ Corner 50th Birthday Celebration

Further information on these events and developments can be obtained from Mike Levett, Education and Volunteer officer on 01279 446834 or email:

Footnote: Spurriers House will house the new café for the Town Park. The Education & Volunteer Officer for the Town Park has been busy researching the history of the house which was built in the 1860’s by William Cox who was MP for Finsbury twice (1857-1859 and 1861-1865) and a former solicitor. After his death in 1889 the house passed down through his family and was eventually owned by his niece Lizzie Mewburn, followed by her son, William Angell Mewburn until around 1935 when the house was purchased by Thomas Chapman.

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