Newsletter 3 - July 2014

Detailed designs and demolition

Hard hats and high-vis jackets ready? The Lesnes Abbey Woods, Enhancement Project schedule is gearing up to the first signs of project delivery on site. Following a further period of community and stakeholder engagement over the spring, designs are at a stage where works will start, as planned, this autumn!

Work on site this side of the New Year is all focussed in the areas of the park affected by the Lesnes Lodge construction and the beautifully designed exterior landscape area, the new community hub building will sit within.

 Information centre closure

We expect the 80 year old existing building and public conveniences will be closing shortly after the summer holidays. This means there will not be any public toilets at Lesnes for nearly a year.

Plans are underway now for the building’s users to re-locate in advance. Lesnes Abbey Conservation Volunteers will continue their activities in the park throughout the period of improvements. Temporary accommodation is being explored for this group during the period of the works, and it is planned that they will take up residency in the new Lodge from September 2015.

Construction site

The appointed experts will be putting up hoardings to make a safe and secure demolition area which will then become the ‘Lesnes Lodge building site’ thereafter.

The area of the building site will include the existing service yard and adjacent lawns and shrub beds along to the footpaths.

Vehicle movement on site will be restricted and managed to have the least disruption and impact upon visitors and local residents as the park will remain open throughout.


Demolition of the existing building is expected in November and will be undertaken in accordance with the relevant planning and English Heritage, Scheduled Ancient Monument consent conditions.

An archaeology team will be present during the building project and undertaking a ‘watching brief’ to observe both demolition and construction phases.

Conservation Work

The existing building has been home for many years to a healthy colony of bees. They have made their hive in a deep wall cavity above what was the ranger’s office. This spring the bees with their queen were taken to Hall Place Gardens where the colony has thrived.

Ecological surveys have been undertaken to prepare for the construction works to ensure disturbance to fauna and flora is avoided or kept to a minimum where possible. Specific site surveys which focus on protected species such as bats indicate very low risk within the construction zones.

Masterplan design updates

New information is being been added to the Visit Lesnes web site.

To see the designs for other feature elements of the Enhancement Project please visit

Delivery Phase stakeholder meeting 2

Our next meeting of community, voluntary and local stakeholders is being organised for October 2014. We will look forward to seeing you then and updating you on progress of all elements of the Masterplan and the start in January 2015 of the Activity Plan.

Proposed project schedule

July - December 2014

  • Site prepared for works
  • Demolition of existing information  centre

January - June 2015

  • New community hub building ‘Lesnes Lodge’ construction gets underway
  • Masterplan of landscape works commences

July - December 2015

  • Masterplan delivery continues
  • Lesnes Lodge opens
  • Recreation ground improvements begin
  • Site-wide improvements begin

January - June 2016

  • Gateway features installed
  • Site-wide signage and interpretation improvements installed
  • Masterplan completes

We look forward to seeing you again for the stakeholder meeting in the autumn.

Warm regards,

Colin Rowland
Head of Parks and Open Spaces
Luisa Baker
Project Manager
Mark Taylor
Parks Conservation and Community Officer
Jeannette Brooks
Community Engagement and Project Officer

Telephone: 0208 303 7777