Why almost £4m is being put towards Havant park's restoration

A PARK with a beautiful 200-year history will be restored in all its glory, after planning permission was granted.

Friday, 27th July 2018, 7:02 pm
Updated Friday, 27th July 2018, 7:09 pm
Staunton Country Park. Picture: Supplied

Staunton Country Park in Havant will have almost £4m put towards the creation of a new visitor centre and a full restoration project, bringing some never-before-seen follies into the spotlight.

Hampshire County Council has spent £950,000, along with £2.8m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund, to restore the historic park to its former glory and invest in improved visitor facilities, as the park approaches its bicentenary in 2019.

Councillor Seán Woodward, executive member for recreation and heritage, says that the park will become a '˜must-visit' destination.

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Cllr Woodward said: '˜We are really pleased that work can now get underway to conserve and restore Staunton's unique historic features, and enhance the visitor facilities.

'˜Our vision is to make Staunton a '˜must-visit' destination in Hampshire.

'˜We know that Staunton has a fascinating history spanning two centuries so far.

'˜This project is a once in a lifetime opportunity to sympathetically link its past with an exciting new chapter in its history.

Work being done on the park includes restoring the landscape and Chinese bridge, building two activity rooms available to park and community groups, improving car parking and creating new trails and activities.

The country park in Havant is partly modelled on the former Imperial Park at Jehol in China.

The nineteenth century site was formerly the home of Sir George Thomas Staunton '“ whose father Sir George Leonard Staunton introduced a Chinese tea blend to England, later named Earl Grey Tea.