Past designs inspire plans for London sites

Taking a walk through London’s Bishops Park and Fulham Palace grounds could become a journey into another age if plans to restore the historic spaces are realised.

A seaside theme is part of the design, with the renovation of Bishops Park’s lake and original landscape setting, including a beach for children. In the grounds of Fulham Palace a walled garden is set to be transformed into a functioning kitchen garden, filled with organic produce and providing a demonstration area for local residents. The plans have been drawn up by landscape firm LDA Design in anticipation of a Heritage Lottery Fund Parks for People grant application being made by the end of this month. If successful, the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham hopes to receive £4m from the HLF and will contribute up to £2.9m from its own funds. LDA Design partner Andrew Harland said the history of the green spaces had been crucial in formulating a plan. “It lies largely within the park and we’ve been aiming to take it back to its Edwardian heyday, restoring its character with the central area focused on the lake and urban beach,” explained Harland. “In the Edwardian period there were a series of interconnected pools with an artificial beach with sand from Margate — the idea was to create a seaside atmosphere for the children of Fulham. “That’s something we’re trying to recreate in this design.” A stretch of terracotta balustrade will provide a walkway, while the removal of overgrown vegetation will open up the views across the park. Grasses and resilient planting are set to continue the beach theme in Bishops Park, according to Harland. As part of the design, the Moat Garden off Fulham Palace Road will be transformed from a run-down wilderness site into a wildflower meadow with hedgerows and a grassland habitat for wildlife. The HLF will decide on the Stage 1 application by September and, if successful, more detailed designs will be created, with work expected to begin in 2010.

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