Staunton Country Park set for rejuvenation after £2.85m lottery cash boost

Staunton Country Park. Picture: Paul Jacobs
Staunton Country Park. Picture: Paul Jacobs
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Pictures: Alistair Gibson, John Tweddell and Steve Bone

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A COUNTRY park will undergo restoration work after receiving a major lottery funding boost.

Staunton Country Park is celebrating a £2.85m cash injection from the Heritage Lottery and Big Lottery funds.

The money will pave the way for a new visitor centre and rejuvenation of the site’s Regency landscapes.

It comes after the estate, near Havant, previously benefited from a £950,000 investment as part of the county council’s wider transformation of Hampshire’s country parks.

Work will now focus on the historic parkland to the north of the farm attraction.

Tory councillor for Test Valley Central, Andrew Gibson, is the executive member for culture, recreation and countryside.

He said: ‘We are absolutely delighted that the National Lottery funding will help restore our beautiful park to its former glory.

‘Together with our major investment, this project represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to revitalise the country park ahead of Staunton’s bicentenary in 2019.’

Work is due to begin in 2018 and will comprise the restoration of the park’s Grade II-registered landscape, conservation of historic follies and its Chinese bridge, transformation of the Victorian Coach House into a visitor centre and café and a venue for on-site vocational training.

On behalf of both National Lottery sponsors, the Heritage Lottery Fund’s chief executive Ros Kerslake said: ‘It’s difficult to overstate the importance of our public parks. Vital to our well-being and essential to biodiversity, they are highly valued spaces enjoyed daily by people from all walks of life.

‘Staunton Country Park is one of the latest parks to benefit from over £900 million of National Lottery funding, which over the last twenty years has played a crucial role in revitalising more than 800 parks across the UK.’

Local people can get involved in the project, taking part in hands-on activities such as vegetation clearance and gardening, as well as volunteering in the visitor centre.

A new Friends of Staunton group will also soon be launched.

To get involved email: staunton.education@hants.gov.uk.