Gunnersbury Park’s beautiful and painstakingly restored heritage was recognised with a prestigious gong at last week’s Landscape Institute Awards.
Ealing Council’s landscape team were awarded ‘Highly Commended’ in the Heritage and Conservation category for its role in the work to restore the parkland and historical features.
This has been achieved thanks to collaboration between Ealing and Hounslow Councils, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic England and the local community.
The project has seen significant work carried out on the park’s many gardens, ponds, follies and tree lined views, allowing local people to benefit from the park’s rich heritage.
There have been a number of improvements to the parkland including restoration of the long-lost Horseshoe Pond, a new community kitchen garden, nature trail, eye catching wild-flower meadow, heritage planting beds, and a popular new café and local history themed children’s play area.
The parkland has been reconnected with Gunnersbury Park Museum and its galleries by opening up views and by bringing local history to life through interpretation sculptures placed around the park and running a wide range of park based community and schools learning activities.
Restoration of the well-known heritage structures dotted across the parkland has taken place, with work carried out on the Orangery, Temple, Bathhouse and Gothic ruins and the Round Pond. The grounds have benefited from the appointment of a head gardener to maintain and manage the park’s landscapes and horticulture.
The next phase of the project has seen work begin on one of the largest outdoor sporting facilities in London which will be completed in spring 2019. This £13.9 million sports hub will boast a multi-use sports centre and gym, two external floodlit artificial grass pitches, tennis courts, cricket and football pitches.
Councillor Julian Bell, Leader of Ealing Council said: “We are delighted to be recognised at the Landscape Institute Awards. It is a well-earned accolade that reflects the hard work and long-term vision of not only our own team, but our successful partnership with Hounslow Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic England and local people.
“It has been fantastic to see the progress we have made in the last five years, carefully restoring Gunnersbury’s 18th and 19th century heritage from a state of disrepair to the wonderful place local people and visitors enjoy when then they visit today.
“Our work is not over though, the latest phase of the Gunnersbury Restoration Project is currently taking place and we are local forward to opening a first-class sports hub next summer, which when complete, will be one of the largest outdoor sports facilities in the capital.
“The multi-use sports centre and gym will have fantastic facilities for local residents and students to take advantage of in recognised stunning surroundings.”
The Landscape Institute Awards are presented each year to landscape professionals in recognition of outstanding work. The Awards celebrate the value of landscape practice in connecting people, place and nature by demonstrating excellence, innovation and creativity in the natural and built environment.