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Six parks to share £13m HLF funding

Three London parks among locations set to benefit from Lottery-funded schemes

By Pete Hayman

The Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund (BIG) have announced that six parks across England will be awarded a share of £13m towards restoration schemes. Parks in London; Darlington;

Oldham and Stoke-on-Trent have received grants under the Parks for People initiative, which has seen more than £150m invested since 2006. Victoria Park in Tower

Hamlets, London, has been awarded the largest share of funding, with a £4.5m grant towards restoration work on four of its most iconic features. The Burdett-Coutts Fountain;

the Chinese Pagoda; the Dogs of Alcibiades and the Old English Garden are all set to be revitalised, while new training


South Downs National Park status takes effect

Designation of the new South

London's Bishop's Park is one of the parks to net Lottery funding

and volunteering opportunities are in line to be introduced. Bishop's Park and Fulham

Palace Grounds in west London has received £3.64m, while Dunwood Park in Oldham secured nearly £1.1m. Burslem Park in Stoke-on-

Trent has been handed nearly £2.1m; Horniman Gardens in

Forest Hill, London, has been awarded £907,000 and Darlington's Brinkburn Denes Park will net £878,500. HLF chief executive Carole

Souter said: "Now the clocks have gone forward, it's the perfect time to get out and enjoy our many wonderful public parks."

Blaenavon secures £2.47m National Lottery grant

By Tom Walker

UNESCO's Blaenavon World Heritage Site, South Wales, has received £2.47m for conserva- tion and restoration work. The money comes as part of

the Forgotten Landscapes Partnership Scheme, created by 130 different organisations led by Gwent Wildlife Trust and Torfaen County Borough Council to cover about 40sq km (15.4sq m) around Blaenavon. The Heritage Lottery Fund

(HLF) will contribute 60 per cent of the funding, which will be spent over the next three years on projects including the conservation and restoration of historical features such as the Pwll Du tramway tunnel. The Welsh Assembly

Government, the Heads of the Valleys programme, Valleys

© Cybertrek 2010

Downs National Park – stretching across Sussex and Hampshire – has come into effect as of 31 March. Environment secretary Hilary Benn announced that the 1,600sq km (618sq mile) area between Beachy Head, East Sussex, and St Catherine's Hill near Winchester, Hampshire, would become a National Park in November 2009. A new national park authority – the South Downs National Park Authority – has been established and will meet for the first time on 20 April, a year before it becomes fully operational.

£1.9m grant for South Pennines scheme

Pennine Prospects has been

awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant worth nearly £1.9m towards plans to bring the story of the Watershed Landscape to life. Funded through the HLF's Landscape Partnership Scheme, the grant will aid landscape restoration, access improvements and heritage projects. A community archaeologist and an interpretation officer will be appointed as part of the plans.

CLA issues countryside election call

The Country Land and Business

The Big Pit Museum, one of the heritage attractions in Blaenavon

Regional Park, the Environment Agency and the Countryside Council for Wales will provide the remainder of the funding, which will go towards wetlands and grasslands – a move aimed at promoting the return of Welsh mountain ponies and traditional breeds of cattle. Torfaen council's chief officer, Christina Harrhy said: "Forgot-

ten Landscapes will significantly improve the World Heritage Site and its landscape setting." HLF has already made a

number of awards in the area, including funding for Big Pit

– the National Mining Museum of Wales (£5.4m); St Peter's Church (£104,500) and the St Peter's School World Heritage Centre (£1.3m)

Association (CLA) has outlined the policies that need to be considered by a future government to safeguard rural communities. In a manifesto for the forthcoming general election, the organisation has set out how the government can help the countryside meet the main challenges facing communities. The upgrade of nearly 10,000 miles (16,093km) of public rights of way to account for landowners' needs and improved tax rules for tourism companies are among the CLA's policies.

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