Newsletter 4 - October 2014

Dig, Demolish, Deliver

Lights are out, services switched off and the archaeologist is standing by as both new building and landscape works begin.

Not any easier than moving house or changing jobs – the start of delivery for the Enhancement Project has been complex! But with support from our grounds maintenance contractor Kier and the Lesnes Abbey Conservation Volunteers, the park building and service yard have been vacated.

We are happy to announce the appointment of Keanes as our demolition contractor. As Keanes begins to establish the site hoardings and compound around the construction of Lesnes Lodge – two new temporary footpaths are being installed to allow park visitors to continue to use the park.

Key dates
20 – 24 November; temporary footpaths installed
24 – 28 November; temporary storage unit arrival on site
24 November – 12 December; hoardings around the information centre and New Road north entrance installed
29 December – 09 January 2015; information centre demolition

Removals and other preparation works

We have been undertaking removal and re-landscaping works around the park to help us prepare for the spring planting period. Things look very different in the formal gardens as many of the old shrubs have been removed. We have also relocated the small maple tree to the north east corner of the Monk’s garden area.

Other evidence of preparations is visible as the closure of the information centre prompts the arrival of a new storage container at Abbey Road west.

The long run of yew hedging found at the boundary between the woodland and formal gardens is being removed. Please see the attached design case for this removal which will improve security and sight-lines between the two areas.

Landscape architect team appointment

Mei Loci have been appointed lead landscape consultants for the Enhancement Project. Mei Loci have been supporting the project since 2013 and provided the project with beautiful and unique heritage and interpretation designs earlier this year. This appointment means their work on the project will continue until completion in 2016.

“Mei Loci are delighted with our appointment. Since our initial involvement prior to the Council’s funding application to Heritage Lottery Fund, we have developed a strong understanding and appreciation of the site’s rich ancient and medieval heritage and the contemporary culture of the park.

To now be able to continue and work alongside community groups is a fantastic opportunity”
Patricia Hawes, Mei Loci Director and Landscape Architect, B.AppSc Landscape Architecture, PGCE.

Interpretation and information project

A wide ranging interpretation strategy has been progressing in the background since March of this year, and as we reach a point in the project where new signs, maps and information about the site is refreshed and renewed – a initiative to rename footpaths is underway.

In the New Year we will be contacting community organisations to assist in the development of walks and trails whilst re-establishing historical names for the paths found on site.

Stakeholder meeting

At the end of October – the second project stakeholder meeting was held at Bexley Civic Offices. Thank you to all those who attended and for your contributions. A summary of main points from the session is attached and will be available on the project website www.visitlesnes.co.uk very soon. The next stakeholder meeting is planned for February 2015.

Masterplan drop-in and help sessions

Two informal drop-in and help session took place at Lesnes Abbey during the Autumn half term week. The project team and Mei Loci spent time at the park sharing design information, talking with visitors about the project and gathering feedback from park users.

Further sessions are planned for 2015 at approximately six weekly intervals. Drop-in sessions will be held at the park;

Spring half term week (mid-February)
Easter holiday period (April)
Summer half term week (end of May)
Start of the summer holidays (end of July)

The session are for all park users, local residents, community groups and interested parties to discuss the works with the project team and to keep up to date with progress.

If you are unable to attend these sessions and would like to discuss the project please contact the team via email visitlesnes@bexley.gov.uk.

New Masterplan eBrochure

We have produced a new electronic brochure of all the key Masterplan elements within the Enhancement Project. The brochure is available online here. To save the eBrouchure to your own devise, press the printer button on the brochure and chose your own print option.

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