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£3.1m Lottery grant boosts plans to restore historic Great Linford Manor Park

The Parks Trust, which looks after a total 6,000 acres of green space across the city, aims to revive the park’s rich heritage of the park, including original garden features dating from the 18th century such as ponds, cascades and the Wilderness Garden.

The project will carry out essential conservation and restoration work. Areas of wildflower meadow will also be extended and the old limestone quarry in the park made more accessible for people to learn about the local geological heritage.

The conservation, restoration and access improvement works in the Park are planned to start in 2019 and should take about a year to complete. The programme of community events and activities will begin later this year and run until 2022.

To improve the visitor experience, the park’s entrances and car parking will be upgraded, new welcome and waymarking signage provided and new paths will be constructed to enable visitors to explore more of the park.

The scheme also includes a play trail for children and more seating within landscaped surroundings. Interpretation panels, leaflets and digital resources will be developed to enable visitors to learn about the park and its history.

A new volunteer group, the Friends of Great Linford Manor Park, has also been established.

Phil Bowsher, The Parks Trust’s head of environment education and volunteering, said: “We are so pleased that the Heritage Lottery Fund have decided to support our project. Great Linford Manor Park is such a special place in Milton Keynes and we will now be able to make it even better for people to enjoy.

“The Park is full of fascinating heritage features we want to conserve and restore and there are so many interesting stories we can tell to reveal the Park’s history to our visitors.

“We had great support from many people in the community and other organisations in developing our project plan, who are keen to help us conserve this special place and see it used and enjoyed as a public park of great benefit to the local area.”

The park surrounds some of Milton Keynes’ oldest buildings, including Great Linford Manor.

Heritage Lottery Fund chief executive Ros Kerslake said: “Parks may vary in size, location and design but what they all have in common is the wealth of benefits they deliver to local communities.

“From economic prosperity and ecological diversity, to personal well-being, parks are essential to the health of the nation. That is why we have invested a combined £950 million of National Lottery funding regenerating parks like Great Linford Manor Park and they remain a priority for us into the future.”  

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