Friends of Langley Park

Beautiful Historic Grade II Listed Parkland near Pinewood Studios, Iver

RESTORATION SCHEDULE OF WORKS

June 2010 

The main site works for the Langley Park HLF Restoration Project were completed in time for 'The Langley Launch' event on Sunday 25th July, including the Tearoom, toilets and information point.  Most of the parkland's restoration works were complete, along with the build of the new visitor centre and car park improvements.

 The lake restoration was completed with the grassy edge germinating well.   Access was restricted around the lake until the grass was welll established, which was weather dependant.

  • New signage and trail routes were developed by the Country Parks Team later on.
  • Future seasonal specimen tree plantings were planned in the Arboretum.
  • The car park was re-edged with new knee rails being installed, new entrance and exit gates and new metal fencing bordering onto Billet Lane.

 April 2010

The Lake

  • The timber edging was completed and the lake re-filled with water.  The grassy banks were restored and re-seeded allowing them to recover in drier weather.

New signage and furniture

  • The timber structures for the interpretation and map boards were installed, with new interpretation panels inserted telling you about Langley’s fascinating past. New map boards were located at each main entrance to help you find your way around the site.
  • A new welcome leaflet for Langley Park was developed.

The Temple Base

  • The restoration of the Temple Base was completed.  

February/March 2010

The Lake

  • The timber edging around the lake was 60% completed. 

The new Visitor Centre

  • The external walls and roof nearly completed, with internal walls being installed.
  • All services for the building completed. 

New signage and furniture

  • More benches installed by the lake edge once the major works to the lake are completed.

January 2010

The Lake

  • The remaining silt and extracted gravel from the lake was spread over the lake bed.
  • The lake banks were reformed following the historic lake edge.
  • The timber edging was installed to form the lake edge, with three cattle beaches to allow the cattle in George Green Field to drink from it.

The new Visitor Centre

  • The building’s timber frame now stands with roof beams and internal partitions in place. 
  • The environmentally friendly Hemp Crete walls were installed.  The external walls and roof will be complete in the New Year.
  • The Klargester Sewage Unit connected up.

New signage and furniture

  • New fingerposts were installed across the parkland to help visitors find their way around the park easily. 
  • A new informal style of bench was installed in the park.  

The Wider Parklands

  • The gravel paths surrounding the Temple Base were completed.
  • The gates at Park Stile Garden were restored and re-installed.

November 2009

The Lake

Over the past couple of months we have had a specialist company in called Remora.  They have been brought in to scan and clear the lake of any suspicious finds, including munitions.  Due to the site's historic links to military use, we needed to clear the lake of all metal objects before we could continue with the lake restoration.  Langley Park was used during the 1st and 2nd World War as an officers hospital, it was the HQ for the Home Guard, and the Polish armies used the site to prepare for D Day. 

Our main contractors, UPM Tilhill, have begun removing the silt.  Once the silt removal is complete, the lake will be re-edged and we hope to have it filling up again with water by the end of the year.

The grass and vegetation surrounding the lake will be re-established by early spring 2010 in time for the nesting bird season.

The new Visitor Centre

You may have noticed scaffolding going up around the visitor centre.  The contracotrs are building a weatherproof cover over the construction site to allow them to work on the build in all weathers.  The building should be complete by early spring 2010.

So far all the foundations have been established, including connections to all the services required for the building.  The build of the frame will begin very soon.

New signage and furniture

The new formal benches are now installed within the park, and there will soon be a different style of bench installed across the wider parklands.

New finger posts, helping visitors to navigate around the site and work out distances to and from areas, will be installed over the next couple of weeks.

In the new year there will be new orientation and interpretation boards going into the site to help visitors find their way around and learn more about the site's interesting past.  There will also be new themed trail leaflets developed for visitors to follow.

The Wider Parklands

  • Most of the new and restored gates and fences are complete. 
  • The enclosed garden at the Park Stile entrance will be re-planted by the end of November.
  • The restoration of the Temple Base will be complete by the new year.

Different elements of the restored park will take varying amounts of time to re-establish.  We kindly ask if all users could please use the park with extra care during this time, especially on the newly restored paths. 

If you would like to know any more about the restoration project, please get in touch.


August 2009

The Langley Park restoration continues to progress.  We hope you are satisfied with the work to date and can see the gradual positive transformation of the park.  The following elements of the restoration are planned to take place during the next few weeks:
 
The build of the new visitor centre is going to begin during the week of 24th August.  Initially piling will be put in the ground for the foundations before the build will begin to take shape.  The current timescale for the completion of this building is early spring 2010.  We apologise for any inconvenience during this time.

The lake is now empty and will be left to dry out over the next few weeks.  During September the excess silt will be removed and the re-edging of the lake will begin. 
The refurbishment of Park Stile Garden is now underway.  The railings will be fully restored and the garden landscaped.

The fencing around the Arboretum will be complete in the next few weeks, and the original Langley gates that were taken away for restoration will return and be re-fitted.
The work of reconstructing the vista path will continue during the next few weeks.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or queries about the restoration, please contact either myself or Nick Lawrence, the Project Manager, on the contact details above.


June 2009

 

The estate railings are currently being installed around the arboretum.  Once installed they will be painted.  The railings are due for completion mid July.

The Temple Garden paths are in the process of being restored, as are many of the paths across the wider parkland. Many will be finished by mid July. 

Langley Lake is soon to be dredged ready for it's restoration over the summer months.


March 2009

Main Contractor Appointed 

UPM Tilhill have been appointed as the main contractor for the Langley Park Restoration Project, who will carry out the rest of the restoration works to completion.

UPM Tilhill have a strong portfolio of country park restoration projects.  Examples include Chiswick House and Gardens in Hounslow and Seven Sisters Country Park in Sussex.

The main site works will start on the 20th April 2009.  We will soon announce a detailed programme of works planned for the site during 2009.


February 2009

  • Forestry removals in and around Verneys Walk are ongoing.  No more trees are due to be felled in this area, however all lying timber is due to be removed by contractors in the next two weeks so please avoid this area until the forestry signs are removed.
  • Tree and scrub clearance in the Arboretum is almost complete.  Further works will take place towards the end of the week, including coppicing the holly along the Arboretum boundary.
  • Ongoing scrub clearance around the lake will continue to take place this week. 
  • A 5 year maintenance programme in the Temple Gardens will begin at the conservation work day on Saturday 7th February.   This will involve coppicing many of the rhododendrons to lengthen their lifespan.  This work will be phased over the next 5 years to limit the impact on the Temple Gardens.
  • Laurel is going to be cleared along the Billet Lane Car Park boundary to allow the new visitor resource building (due to be built later this year) to be viewed from the road to increase security.

PLEASE NOTE: All scrub and tree removals will be completed before the nesting bird season, to avoid disturbing birds during the restoration works

A brand spanking new events programme for Langley Park in 2009 is currently being put together with some exciting and interested walks, talks and activities for you to come along to.

As a little taster, here are some events that we are currently planning for Spring / Summer 2009:

  • Easter Egg Treasure Hunt in the Temple Gardens for all those little chocolate lovers!
  • Spring Ramble in Langley Park, led by Peter Freeman, a Langley Park Gardener
  • Dawn Chorus Walk, led by a local bird expert
  • Tree Detectives, led by Tony Down, a Langley Park Gardener
  • Butterfly Walk led by a local butterfly expert
  • Plants for Free! A hands-on activity where you can learn new hints and tips for propogation
  • Simply Walk, a programme of healthy walks starting on 9th March
  • Introductory walks to Langley Park, looking at the recent developments under the HLF restoration project.

Watch this space for dates for all these activities and many more …

In the meantime, if you would like to find out more about any of these events, volunteering opportunities within the Park, or are interested in leading a walk of your own, please contact Amanda Outen on 01753 571 069 or email langleyproject@buckscc.gov.uk


November / December 2008 

Exciting developments are beginning to take shape in Langley Park. You may have already noticed some marked improvements, especially along the rhododendron paths in the Temple Gardens! Here is an overview of what to look out for over the Christmas period:

Temple Gardens

  • Pruning clearance of rhododendron paths has been taking place throughout November and is due for completion by the end of the year.

Langley Lake

  • Reed cutting around the Lake, to facilitate further survey work, is currently taking place. This should be finished by Christmas.

  • Clearance work around the south and east edges of the Lake will start in December and is due for completion by the end January.

Arboretum

  • Clearance work around the Arboretum fence line will begin in December.

Wider parkland

  • Materials will be arriving during December in readiness for planned work in early 2009.

  • Major forestry work is due to start after Christmas. This will take place at various points throughout the site.

Amanda


October 2008

Over the past few months, many walks and activities have taken place in Langley Park, including a Film Walk, History Walk, Bat Walk and Seed Gathering Sunday walk. The Bat walk, which took place in September was rememerable to say the least! It was fully booked, but the heavy rain refused to stop. Despite the rain and the likelihood that we wouldn't see many bats, more than 30 people turned up on the evening and were keen to go on a wet walk around Langley Park in the rain! It was the funniest walk I think I have ever been on. We managed to spot a few bats and hear them on the detectors in between the rain downpours. By the end of the evening we were all trying to find our way back to the car park in the dark in torrential rain with torches and yet everyone maintained a smile on their faces. I received one comment from a visitor saying 'It was so much fun, it was something I would have never normally done, but it felt like a real adventure and the kids loved it!'. Fingers crossed that the bat walk next year is a little drier..!

Over the next couple of months we have a Halloween Treasure Hunt, an introduction to Langley Park History Walk, and a Christmas Crafts day planned. So make sure you get booked on to the ones that take your fancy. In the New Year, I'm hoping to launch a healthy walks programme in Langley Park under the Bucks Simply Walk branding. The walks will consist of a variety of different routes around Langley Park, led at a brisk pace, once a fortnight. If you are interested in finding out more about these walks or would like to become a healthy walks leader, please contact me on the contact details listed below.

If you are not on the events mailing list and would like to be kept up-to-date with all the events and activities planned, please email me at aouten@buckscc.gov.uk or call me on 01753 571 069.

Amanda


September 2008

Things have finally started to happen, with the restoration of the Arboretum pond including the bright new livery for the Japanese Bridge, courtesy of the hard working Friends Group Volunteers.  Thank you for your efforts.  The funding for the work was from the now disbanded Brett Environmental Trust.  We are grateful of their support and look forward to thanking their retired Chairman at a photocall in early November.  We hope the Friends who helped with the work can also be there and will be sending out invites when diaries are sorted out.

The Bat survey has now been completed.  Six species were observed:

  • The Common Pipistrelle
  • The Saprano Pipistrelle
  • Seretones
  • Noctule Bats
  • Long Eared Bats
  • Daubenton's Bat.

No really unusual finds, but a healthy variety and another reason to visit Langley.

The finalising of design and tendering part of the Project is well underway with Tenders planned to go out in December, with a start of work in early 2009.  Various design decisions are being made, based on the consultations for stage E with detail both large and small.

For example, on the small scale we have found a new estate gate that compliments and matches the Langley Gate at the bottom of Verneys.  See the field gate on www.cd-ironworkers.co.uk.

On the larger scale we are looking into the possibility of creating a wider access at the entrance to allow traffic to enter and leave at that point.  This will allow for slightly larger vehicles to access the car park, such as minibuses, food delivery vans, small refuse vehicles, and will give a grander entrance in a position that is central to the new car park that includes the overflow car park space.  If you would like to know more watch this space for Monthly updates or get in touch with me at the Countryside Centre at Black Park.

Nick Lawrence


August 2008

It’s been full steam ahead with the Langley Park restoration this month.  Bat and veteran tree surveys have got underway, as well as continued rhododendron tagging by Tree Works.

The Arboretum Pond is now re-instated, with newly ‘puddled’ clay to repair the lining and new planting to the surrounds.  The painting of the Arboretum Bridge by the Friends of Langley Parkon the weekend of 6th September will be the finishing touches to the beautifully restored pond area.  At some point over the coming weeks we plan to hold a press opening for the newly restored Arboretum Pond, which could also double up as a celebration for the pond’s 100thyear birthday!  Watch this space…

The project team have been meeting with the lead design consultants, on a regular basis to put plans into action and get the restoration on its way.  The next focus for the project, now that the Arboretum Pond is close to completion, will be to work on trees within the park once the leaves are down.

Oh, and don’t forget to keep up to date with the events programme for Langley Park as lots of activities are planned for the autumn and winter months!

Amanda


July 2008

We have finally appointed a Lead design Consultant after the exhaustive system that is the European Union Procurement System.

Of three final candidates, Scott Wilson were chosen.  This company were responsible for all the work on our successful Stage 2 bid and know the project inside out.  I am looking forward to working with them

If you want to look at their handy-work visit Lilly Hill Park near Bracknell, (obviously only once ... we don't want to lose our customers!).

Lilly Hill is a  small park boasting estate railings, hoggin paths and a small Rhododendron Collection.  Just completed by Scott Wilson, I visited it to assess their work and was impressed by the quality and excited at the prospect of doing the same thing for Langley.

Things have moved on in the Temple Garden as well with Peter and Tony doing sterling work clearing deadwood, bramble and bracken in readiness for Tree works coming in to tag and GPS plot the whole collection in July / August.  At the end of this process we will not only finally know how many Rhododendrons we have but their exact position!

Peter and Tony have been helped in this work by the expertise of Ivor Stokes.  Ivor is the ex head of Horticulture for the Botanical Garden of Wales, has been in The RHS Magnolia Azalea & Rhododendron group for 18 years and has been invaluable in adding expertise and instruction to Tony and Peter's hard work.'


May 2008

Tony, the second Gardener, is due to start in the near future to work with Peter, who has been with us for a month now and has already made an enormous difference around The Park.  Watch out for their smart new blue uniforms that are on the way!

Amanda the new Audience and Interpretation Officer is also due to start at the end of the month so we will then have a full compliment.

With the LDC in place firmer plans for the order of work can be made.  In the meantime we will be undertaking the renovation of the Arboretum Pond.

This is planned to be done in July with the ambition that it can co-inside with the other general improvements to the Arboretum.  An improved with mowing regime will improve the grass and we may even be able to prioritise the renewal of fencing and gates planned for in the overall scheme.  This will give us a single area were we can really see the start of work happening.

On the subject of the Pond, we still have not organised the bridge painting for this part of the project, and I am hoping that with the right amount of access and other support this may be a project the Friends could undertake. 

As can be seen by the end of May we will be fully staffed and raring to go so there will be more to tell you next month.


April 2008

April saw us moving forward with building the team.

We held interviews and appointed a new Access and Interpretation Officer.

Amanda Outen has just finished a heritage Lottery Funded project called Park involving the establishment of friends groups around the country to help enhance and promote Parks.  She has a wealth of experience and I am sure will be a great asset to the Project.

On the 22nd it was all hands on deck for the Timberland Volunteers day (held on One Earth Day) where 60 plus volunteers did sterling work in Langley removing Sycamore saplings and other invasive species to  underpin the regular valued volunteers work by the Friends group.

On 24th I had an an enjoyable half day with Peter (our gardener) shadowing the Birbeck Historic Garden group who were being shown around the Park by John Phibbs.  John wrote the Brownian elements of the Historic report supporting our bid.  It was a fascinating insight into the Park.


March 2008

A busy month found things moving forward.

We interviewed and appointed the two new Langley Gardeners, Peter and Tony, who initially worked with the rest of the team to familiarise themselves with working practices ,but will of course focussed on Langley as the plants started to grow and the Project got underway. 

New Lead Design Consultant appointment was progressed.  This formal process had several set steps from advertising the post, asking for expressions of interest through to tendering for the work and appointing the new LDC.  

The Nesting Bird Survey started with a visit by James Darke of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.  Starting at six am James identified a variety of birds through visual spotting and their song.  He identified Lesser Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, three pairs of Egyptian Geese (I had wondered how the pair I was aware of got around the park so fast!) Chaffinch, Red Legged Partridge, as well as all the many wildfowl we know about.

He identifies by type of song - aggressive, mating, protecting - as well as visually, and builds up a map of the areas over six visits to establish breeding territories and sites.

Elsewhere, practicalities of electronic tagging and mapping of the Rhododendron collection with a specialist in the next couple of weeks were looked at.

Progressing the restoration of the Arboretum Pond was looked at.


February 2008

The overwintering bird survey was completed.  The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust were commissioned to do the more detailed Nesting bird survey, just in time for the Egyptian Geese, who already had triplets.

The Gamestore in the Arboretum was recorded, dismantled treated and stored.

Also in the Arboretum, prices were sought for the work on the pond and bridge.

First Meeting with the HLF went off without a hitch and the recruitment of Gardeners, Audience Officer and Lead design consultant all in hand.

Upcoming Events

Monday, Jun 26 at 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Saturday, Jul 1 at 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Monday, Jul 3 at 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Tuesday, Jul 4 at 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

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