WITH the National Lottery Heritage Fund having given the green light for Devon County Council to start work on its ‘Restoring Stover Park’ project, let’s remind ourselves what’s to come.
The grant, which is for more than two million pounds, will enable the county-wide authority to deliver on eight goals.
First and foremost, the project seeks to wet dredge 14,000 cubic meters of sediment from Stover Lake, before spreading the sediment on 1.4 hectares of removed conifer plantation.
The area will then be re-planted with 55 per cent deciduous broadleaf trees, 15 per cent conifer and 30 per cent open grassland.
Elsewhere, the project seeks to restore an one hundred metre portion of the Serpentine Lake directly beneath Stover School: recreating views seen in 19th century era etchings.
To repair and interpret the Grade II* listed Granite Gatehouse, in addition to extending the Discovery Centre and build a new workshop facility is among the goals of the ‘Restoring Stover Park’ project also.
Improving the car park within the existing footprint of the site so that capactiy is increased by 14 per cent is another of the goals of the project.
Also, Devon County Council will seek to purchase two fields, which will total 9.85 acres, as well as a peripheral strip of a third, to allow for a new pedestrian route into the wider landscape and bring about an agreed permissive route through Sibelco woodland to join two key paths.
The seventh component of the project seeks to both design and deliver new interpretation, wayfinding and signage at the park, as well as myriad new digital offerings.
Finally, Devon County Council will deliver an Activity Plan consisting of six programmes, all of which will be delivered through partnership with local organisations, park rangers and a team of volunteers.
Councillor Andrea Davis, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, said: ‘This is fantastic news for Stover Country Park and a credit to everyone who has worked so hard to secure this funding over a number of years.
‘This investment from the National Lottery Heritage Fund along with funding from Devon County Council, National Highways and other key partners will make an enormous difference to the Park.
‘Not only will it remove the Gatehouse from the National ‘Heritage At Risk’ register and assist Stover Lake into regaining its SSSI favourable condition criteria by de-silting, but it will enable a new programme of activities to improve existing visitors’ experience and encourage use of the Park by under-represented communities.
‘All in all, it will help secure a vibrant future for Stover Country Park.’
Following a two-year development phase, Devon County Council, which owns Stover Country Park, was awarded a £2.1m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to deliver the project and will now start undertaking work agreed in the development phase.
The grant was secured in combination with match funding commitments from several other authorites: National Highways with £848,000; Devon County Council with £667,000; Bovey Tracey Town Council with £10,000; Kingsteignton Town Council with £10,000 and Devon Remembers with £13,000.
It should be mentioned too that more than £1,500 has been raised in the past year from members of the public utilising the ‘Wishing Tree’ at Stover Country Park.