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Park Projects

Find out about the current projects going on in the Country Parks. Check back regularly for updates. 

Cows onsite

We currently have ten Sussex cows onsite at Black Park. They will be starting at Fulmershe heath and will be heading to our old heathland later on. They will be carrying out an important job of conservation grazing, helping our heathland to thrive! Please adhere to signage and follow alternative routes onsite where needed.

 

Please follow these top tips to help keep our cows happy and healthy:

 

  • Keep your dog under close control
  • Pick up your dog waste
  • Ensure you take your litter home with you
  • Stick to main paths

 

For more information click here to watch this video.

They will also be arriving at Denham Country Park soon, please check back for regular updates.

Help Our Heathland

Our heathland needs your help!

 

We're encouraging all our visitors to help protect our heathland by only using the main paths.

 

Sticking to paths helps minimise disturbance to ground nesting birds, reptiles, deer and other animals and plants. 

 

This will allow our heathland habitat and wildlife to thrive.

 

#Helpourheathland

Black Park Lake Erosion Project

Black Park Lake is the only large, raised reservoir in Buckinghamshire. The Country Parks Team are responsible for managing the condition of the reservoir and a survey of the lake bank has highlighted significant erosion. Erosion is where the edges of the lake are gradually worn away through the actions of both weather and water, along with human interventions such as allowing dogs to enter the water.  As the bank erodes, tree roots are exposed and the bank becomes more unstable and, as a result, the erosion increases. The aim of this project is to improve, stabilise and protect the lake banks for both visitors and wildlife by ensuring its future as a key feature of the country park.

 

We will be starting the first phase of works to improve the lake bank closest to the main car park in March 2024.  Following approval from the Forestry Commission, we will be removing failing trees along the lake bank to allow more light into the banks for future planting.  The Country Parks Team will use this as an opportunity to increase the biodiversity of the lake bank by planting a wider variety of trees, plants, and coppicing the remaining established trees. 

 

Coppicing is an ancient system of woodland management. The trees are cut close to the ground, which then regrow from dormant buds at the base of the stump. This creates dense stands of multi-stemmed trees. The benefits of coppicing are many. It helps to increase biodiversity: when the trees are coppiced, this opens the forest canopy which allows more sunlight to filter through down to the ground, increasing the growth of ground flora.

 

Alongside the tree removals, we will also be restricting access to areas of lake bank to avoid the erosion deteriorating and allowing us to keep the circular lakeside footpath open for visitors until works start.  Our path networks from the car park are essential in providing visitors with access to the park and around the lake.  Once the bank repair works conclude we aim to improve the footpaths and fencing adjacent to these works.

 

We are aiming to repair and improve an area of the lake bank approximately 350m in length along the north side of the lake close to the main entrance, with aspirations to do similar along an area of 120m on the opposite side in the future. We hope to be able to share the detailed design plans for the bank repair works after Easter 2024.  These essential works are funded by the money raised through car parking charges and commercial filming within the Country Parks. 

 

Langley Park Spatial and Management Plans

In 2023 The Country Parks Team are working with The Environment Partnership (TEP) to create a spatial plan and management plan for Langley Park. The plans will be used by The Country Parks Team to guide future decision making on infrastructure improvements and new projects. It will help to ensure that development is well planned, coherent and in keeping with the character of the park. The plans set out a vision and strategic direction for the park which can be used to guide longer term decision making up to 2070, with the interventions included primarily focused on the period up to 2040.

Ha Ha Wall Restoration in Langley Park

The ha-ha wall at Langley Country Park was once part of a very important historic English landscape garden designed by Capability Brown. It was originally built in the 1700’s for the 3rd Duke of Marlborough to keep grazing livestock out of the gardens without interrupting the view. Although only small sections of the original wall remain, the bricks are a soft red multi stock that have been bedded in a traditional lime mortar. Historically the ha-ha wall was part of the pleasure grounds to the Langley Park estate.

 

Through the transfer of land, it is now part of the larger public space known as Langley Park Country Park. Tucked away in a little corner of South Buckinghamshire it still retains its historic charm and functions as it was intended when constructed in the 1700s.

 

Unfortunately, whilst it remains in its historic form, it is once again suffering from its location within an historic landscaped garden.  When originally built the trees that were planted would have been saplings.  It is those trees from over 250 years ago that have set seed to produce the vast array of mature trees that are now present around the wall, and still maintain the historic landscape that it was originally designed to be. 

 

In 1996 a programme of repair works funded by English Heritage were undertaken to address issues of failure within several sections of the wall.  This was a comprehensive programme and resulted in large sections either being replaced or repaired.  The severest sections of deterioration and failure were removed and replaced with new foundations and new sections of walling and built-in bricks that were approved by English heritage at the time.

 

Unfortunately, some 25 years on we are now in a situation where parts of the wall have failed and require further intervention. These interventions are based around two factors, health and safety, and ongoing maintenance.  Health and safety factors relate to sections of the wall which are suffering from foundation movement and forces from localised tree roots.  This has manifested itself in several movement cracks, shearing and leaning of the wall, so much so that it has been deemed unsafe and a section was fenced off from the public before its complete collapse.  Maintenance factors relate to areas of repointing and brick replacement needed to stave off further decay.

 

Whilst there was a major programme of works in 1996, the wall has now failed in one section and is showing signs of deterioration in others.  It would be fair to state that conservation methods have evolved since 1996 and the mortar that was used then for the previous repairs would not be considered suitable for repairs to brickwork today.

 

The ha-ha wall is suffering from the usual physical defects that one would expect to find in historic brickwork that has been built on unstable sub soil, surrounded by trees, and sited in an elevated position. Historic movement, poor pointing, deteriorated bricks, and modern cementitious repairs are all present.

 

We are planning to restore this important feature from Spring 2024 onwards, beginning with the 20m area that has completely collapsed.

 

We have commissioned a structural engineer to design the new foundations and the contractor carrying out the repair work next year is highly qualified in the field of historic brick and flint conservation and will be following the guidance of a structural engineer who has designed the best way to repair the wall and give it longevity.

 

An ecologist will be contracted to oversee the project to make sure that no wildlife is harmed during the rebuild.  You will notice that a substantial area has been cleared in preparation for the works which was completed under the watching eye of the ecologist with hand tools and then strimming.

 

No public access will be blocked during this work and if you have any questions please ask a Ranger or the construction team who will be happy to help.

 

Your pay and display charge and commercial filming in the parks are helping to fund these important restoration works, alongside the day-to-day maintenance of Langley Park Country Park.

 

Thank you for your patience.

South Bucks Country Park

South Bucks Country Park (working title) is currently being developed on the site of the old Lanes Golf Academy. This 59 acre country park will offer local residents a wide range of new facilities and outdoor opportunities. It will include a Pay and Display car park, a new café, public toilet facilities, a new play area and a network of new countryside walks.