Alasdair McNee: Bear with us during park improvements

Alasdair McNee  and Oliver Wicksteed at the launch of the lake restoration project
Alasdair McNee and Oliver Wicksteed at the launch of the lake restoration project

One of the things which people value most about our park – and rightly so – is that in many respects it is free to use for 365 days a year.

Yes, 147 acres of countryside free to roam in, walk the dog, collect conkers – and just get away from the hustle and bustle of life for some fresh air.

This is one of the many things which our lake restoration project is aiming to improve – providing a new, improved network of footpaths, among other things.

We also want to improve the biodiversity and usage of the lake, which has been an iconic part of the park since the 1920s, and also enhance it as a wildlife habitat, so there is even more to see if you are sharp-eyed enough during your walk.

Of course, this means there will be some temporary changes while we work and some parts of our park won’t be as accessible until the improvements are complete.

Over the past week we have been writing to our neighbours and residents living close by to tell them what we are doing and the alternative arrangements which have been made.

There is a map and further information about the changes on our website and we have placed signs around the park to inform visitors and advise them what they can do to help us.

We are aware that people may have concerns about aspects of what is happening – so feel free to raise these with us, so we can tell you what the position is.

With regards to everything from wildlife to the draining and dredging of the lake itself, we have been working with all the relevant authorities for a long time to ensure that this large-scale project is completed in the most efficient way possible and is fully compliant with all the consenting authorities.

With any project as large as this, things never go exactly according to plan 100 per cent of the time but I am happy to report that in general, the feedback we are getting from those authorities is that we are getting things right and addressing any concerns quickly and efficiently.

Please bear with us over the next few months.

We will try our utmost to keep disruption to a minimum.

Thank you for your patience and support.