Brambledown Awarded Barnes Park Regeneration Sunderland Contract

Brambledown have been appointed Main Contractors in The Restoration of Barnes Park Sunderland. Works will comprise of a full Heritage Lottery funded Restoration to all aspects of the park. This scheme will encorporate various forms of hard and soft landscaping as well as civil engineering and will take 18 months to complete.

Sunderland's Barnes Park, a key part of the city's heritage for more than 100 years, will be rejuvinated with Heritage Lottery funding - and the work will be starting this August.

The land for Barnes Park, set in a beautiful valley through which the Bishopwearmouth Burn flows, was originally bought for the princely sum of £8,500 in 1904.

Three years later, when the depression of trade struck in 1907, the laying out of the park was started - this became a source of employment for a number of practical gardeners from the area, with a total of 2,798 men being employed. The park was then opened in August 1909.  Many of the established trees were retained with oak, ash, beech and elm trees constituting its main wooded growth. Paths meandered throughout the park in all directions and at the west side, on the most elevated piece of ground, two bowling greens, tennis courts, and a cafe were established.

The park has since been home to a wide range of wildlife and with nesting boxes being provided, breeding birds have regularly returned to the park over the years. Water hens, starlings, linnets, snipes, tits, diving ducks, and chaffinches can be frequently observed. And with time taking its toll, the time has come for new life for the old.

The plans...

After a two year bidding process, Sunderland City Council has secured £2.4m to restore the historic features and to redevelop its amenities for future generations, and appointed Brambledown as main contractor.

The restoration of Barnes Park  by Brambledown will include the canon, bandstand, railings and the park gates, as well as developing the park for all to enjoy with play spaces for all ages and a sensory garden.

Cllr Mel Speding says that this all happened with the support from local residents: "This success is also down to the support of the many people involved, including the citizens of Sunderland who gave up their time for the consultations and the local friends and community groups."

The all important park plants will also be in line for attention. Excess shrubbery and tree coverage will be removed and the lake will be totally rejuvenated. And it's not just Barnes Park that is the pride of Sunderland - Mowbray Park, which Brambledown were also involved with restoring, was named Britain's Best Park in 2008 and was itself regenerated with Heritage Lottery funding.

Local Residents, School Children and Friends of Barnes Park worked together with the Council to put together the exciting plans for Barnes Park. The restoration and regeneration plans have been broken down into two Phases namely, Phase 1, which will commence on Monday 19th October 2009 and Phase 2, which will commence in April 2010.

Whilst work will be solely split into these two phases, there will be certain activities from Phase 2 which will be worked upon during Phase 1 such as Tree Removal and installation of CCTV cameras. Brambledown are already underway with the bulk of the clearance works invoklved with the site.

Throughout the restoration/regeneration programme The Coach House Cafe will remain open. The Bowling Greens will be open as usual during the bowling season and as soon as the Play area's are complete they will be open to the Public, in accordance with Health and Safety regulations for the site i.e. access to the remaining park will be closed and only the play area accessible via the Coach House entrance at Barnes Park Road. You can view the restoration plans in more depth on the map of Barnes Park  By clicking on an area within the map, you will be able to see more detailed description of works to be carried out, which include a new Sensory Garden

We hope that you will agree that the proposals for the redeveloped park, along with the help of Brambledown,  will bring Barnes Park right into the 21st Century, whilst also restoring its precious heritage.

Brambledown will commence work on Branes Park on Monday 19th October 2009 and will be completed 18 months later.

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