Q. Do you expect more users?
A. Part of the requirement of the Heritage Lottery grant is that we attract more users and different user groups to the park.
Q. Who decided where the money will be spent?
A. Extensive consultation happened in the early stages of the Project, and this was the basis of the grant application.
Q. Can we suggest new ideas to be included in the Project?
A. To deliver the Project on time and on budget we need to draw a line under new ideas, but if you have suggestions, do talk to the project team and you may find that your idea has been included.
Q. Will we lose the style of the Park?
A. Both the Park Staff and Landscape Designers are acutely aware of the danger of ‘urbanising’ a Country Park and are making sure this is avoided. However, if the Friends group and staff had not worked hard to gain the Lottery grant for restoration, within five - ten years the main popular elements of the park would have been lost forever, with the Rhododendrons breaking and dying, the lake completely silting over and many walks and rides becoming impassable.
Q. Will the Park be maintained after the Project is completed?
A. The HLF grant supports the Project Gardeners for five years. As a self financed enterprise, the Country Parks Team hope that after this period, the support for the park will be strong enough to maintain their presence beyond the grant.
Q. Will the Park be closed during the work?
A. We are making every effort to keep the Park open to users although specific areas will be fenced off or sign posted as having no access. We would like to thank you for your patience and support during this time.
Q. Why have you had to take so many trees down?
A. Trees typically are removed if they are Dead, Dying, Diseased, or Dangerous. Also added to this are trees that are inappropriately positioned (usually because they are self-sown, as well as historically incorrect species or those competing with an original Veteran tree.
Q. Why have the Rhododendrons been cut back?
A. As stated on our notice boards, this is essential maintenance and possibly a little late. Usually they would be coppiced after seventy years (ideally during the mid 1980s).
Q. Are you coppicing all of them?
A. Those with smooth bark should not be coppiced, the others will be coppiced on a section by section basis over the next five years.
Q. Why do you cut them at this time of year?
A. Although you lose the flowers, the rising sap keeps the coppiced wood alive and supports new growth.
Q. Why do you want to make the Arboretum a dog free area?
A. The Arboretum historically has always been dog free, and a dog free area is a requirement of the Lottery grant. All user groups and visitors to the park need to be catered for as a result of the HLF grant.
Q. Are there any areas that will require dogs on leads once the restoration is complete?
A. The Temple Gardens has historically required dogs to be on leads. This needs to be re-emphasised as dogs running through the coppiced Rhododendrons could easily damage new shoots.
Q. Do you not think your clearance work is reducing bird habitats?
A. Care has been taken to check what bird life we have at Langley, particularly around the Lake. These records will be used to assess whether we have changed the numbers and species by doing our work. We have been in close contact with the Wetland and Wildfowl Trust and the RSPB to monitor our bird population and have undertaken our work following their best practice.
Q. What is the new Visitors Resource Building going to be like?
A. It is a modest, sympathetically designed building with much sustainable detail. It will include a ‘kiosk’ style catering outlet, toilets and an office and workshop for staff.
Q. When does the work start?
A. The contractors are due on site on 20th April 2009.
Q. Where will they be based?
A. They will have a compound based around the North end of the Car Park, and will use the overflow car park for their vehicles.
Q. Will the Contractors work weekends?
A. They do not intend to, but may work Saturdays to keep the Project to the intended programme.
Q. Why is the Vista path so wide?
A. There are hierarchies of width in historic Parks where the widest are the most important. From a practical point of view it is helpful to have an access path that is wide enough to allow vehicles to travel safely around the park.
Q. Are you rebuilding the Monument?
A. No, this was never part of the Project and would take up most of the budget! The plinth that it was originally built on will be restored, with steps, edges and gravel renewed or repaired.
Q. What will the paths be made of?
A. The temple garden paths will be reinstated with hoggin topped with rolled gravel in the same way the original paths were made. The vista path will be made with Coxwell self binding gravel, which is locally sourced and in keeping with the Park.
You can see examples of the material in the perimeter path in Richmond Park and many of the other Royal Parks.
Q. Why are there piles of timber from the cut down trees in the woodland?
A. These have been deliberately placed to establish deadwood habitat.
Q. Can we remove cut timber from the Park?
A. It is against the byelaws to remove material from the Park.
Q. Why are there cut branches below the recently pruned Veteran Trees?
A. Cut brush is deliberately left along the drip-line of the veteran trees to protect the root-ball.
Q. Are there going to be any dog bins in the park?
A. There will be two bins to help owners with the essential job of clearing up after their pets. These need to be maintained and emptied which is costly to the Park management, hence the limited number.
Q. Are there going to be picnic tables and litter bins on the Vista?
A. No. We believe too many litter bins and too much furniture can urbanise the Park. There will be bins and tables and seating near the Visitor Resource Building.
Q. Why has there been a long gap between clearance and removals and completing the works?
A. Much of the Clearance has been done by the Park Staff and so has been scheduled in with other works prior to the Main Contractor being on site.