The project to restore Headstone Manor Museum and create an exciting programme of events has been running for several years...
...and in 2019 works started on another phase of restoration work at Headstone which focuses on the wider parkland in which the Manor House and Museum sit.
The contractor Ground Control, working on behalf of the Council, has recommenced works that can be done within Government and Public Health England guidelines. The Council has also reviewed and approved the contractor’s risk assessment and method statements so that work can be undertaken safely to protect their employees and also members of the public. Please scroll down the page for the latest update.
This restoration phase has come about thanks to significant awards from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund; the GLA via their Green Capital grant and further funding from Harrow Parks, Green Grid and Developer Contributions.
The Park Project aims to:
‘Restore the quality, vitality and attractiveness of the Park, its landscapes, wildlife and natural habitats whilst improving visitor experience, engagement and enhancing skills of volunteers in order to ensure the long term sustainability of the park’
The priorities for this project have been arrived at through widespread consultation with park users and the wider community. A biodiversity survey and an arboricultural assessment of the Park’s trees were also commissioned. The issue of seasonal flooding in the area, ongoing pollution incidents in the Manor House Moat and Yeading Brook, as well as the extensive development of housing adjacent to the Park have also been key factors in the formation of the plans.
The Park project will desilt the historic 14th century Moat and construct a sedimentation pond and reed bed system to provide better water quality within the Moat and subsequently in Yeading Brook.
Other key elements of the project include the installation of new play equipment and park furniture such as seating, picnic benches and signage; the creation of footpaths and a nature trail; the planting of an orchard and new trees; and the improvement of the Park’s natural habitats such as woodland, watercourses, meadows and hedgerows. Yeading Brook will be de-culverted and its course diverted to create meanders and shallower banks, work which will reduce flooding and improve the aquatic environment.
Ground Control, a commercial grounds maintenance and landscape contractor, has been awarded the contract to undertake the Park project. The company which has extensive experience in delivering similar large landscape projects has now set up on site and the main landscaping works have commenced.
In addition to the capital works the Parks project includes the delivery of an Activity Plan for the community which has included the recruitment of an outdoor learning officer and the creation of 2 horticultural apprenticeships in the Park. The Outdoor Learning Officer (OLO) , employed by key project partner, charity Thames21, is based at the Park and works closely with the Friends of Headstone Manor Park and other Park users to plan and implement a very varied activity programme. This includes: a schools programme, nature walks, wild family fun, an environmental fair, wildlife surveys and water monitoring. The OLO is also developing a programme to engage more volunteers in activities such as conservation action days and event support to help maintain the Park as a great place for people and wildlife.
A 2nd, separately funded, project is also underway in the south of the Park. The Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS) will significantly alter ground levels to create flood basins whilst improving drainage on the site for the benefit of park users, and sports teams in particular. The basins will hold back water in extreme weather events preventing flooding to downstream properties from overloaded drainage systems and from Yeading Brook. The FAS works will also improve wildlife in and around the brook itself as the removal of some trees and scrub, necessary during the earthworks, will allow more light into this heavily shaded habitat. (Enquires about the FAS scheme should be directed to:- firstname.lastname@example.org)
Update: January 20th 2021
Most of major works in the park are complete however the site is currently too wet to undertake further work and Ground Control will be suspending operations from Jan 22nd until March/ April. Whilst large parts of the park are accessible some areas remain a work site and are still fenced off for safety reasons. See the 'Notice of Delay' here.
After an extremely wet winter in 2019/20, two periods of lockdown and a very wet autumn this year, delays have been unavoidable but the works on site are expected to be completed in Spring 2021. The UK Met Office reported that October 31st was the single wettest day for the country as a whole since 1891 when daily national record keeping began; and the sticky clay soils of Headstone Manor Park hold onto the water, making landscape and planting work much more difficult. The volunteers who helped plant reed plants in early October can attest to the muddiness of the site!
The activity programme is currently being reviewed, and over the next few months events and training will remain on line however we do hope to be able to start offering some Covid safe activities in the Spring and beyond.
Are you interested in getting more involved in the Park: helping to plant up the new habitats; looking out for nature and recording what you see; caring for the woodland; helping to run events? Do get in touch if you’d like more information about volunteering; or if you have any questions about the project and the planned outdoor programme for schools: email@example.com
Find out more about the Park Project