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On Sunday May 5, 2013 visitors to Richmond Park can catch a free return minibus service to see the newly improved Isabella Plantation.

The minibus service, which will run from 10.00am - 4.00pm, is being trialled as part of an access project to the Plantation, giving the public greater opportunity to visit London's 40 acre ornamental woodland garden.

Departing from Ham Youth Centre, the minibus, which is being run in partnership with The Holly Lodge Centre, will take visitors to the gates of the Plantation where spring is in bloom with azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, magnolias, daffodils and bluebells all in flower.

The £1.5 million improvement project, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and BIG Lottery Fund, has seen extensive work carried out throughout the Plantation which includes: enhancements to ponds and streams, upgrades to the existing path network, resurfacing and redesign of the Plantation's disabled car park as well as the addition of a new fully accessible toilet block.

In addition to physical improvements to the site, the project's Partnership and Community Engagement Officer has been working with community groups, schools and charities to develop a range of activities and resources associated with the Plantation.

Jo Scrivener, Assistant Park Manager said:

"We want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to come and visit the Isabella Plantation and see the improvements made to date.

"We were very fortunate to be able to secure £1.5 million from Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund and a further £120,000 from Sita Trust to deliver a range of improvements to the Plantation projects.

"The ponds and streams element of the project has just been completed which included the desilting of all three of the Plantation's ponds and the extension of Peg's Pond with the addition of reed beds and pontoon decking, as well as improvements to the surrounding paths. Streams have also benefited from opening up to increase light levels, with the addition of more waterfalls and flow diverters to create pooling and scouring and add habitat value.

"The Isabella Plantation is one of the most visited attractions in Richmond Park and it is hoped these improvements will encourage education and community activities and be enjoyed by park users for years to come."

The free minibus service will pick up and drop off at the traffic lights on Ham Common with the first pick up starting at 10.00am and the last return journey from Isabella Plantation at 4.00pm.

Timetable

Ham to Isabella Isabella to Ham

10:00 am

10:30 am

11:00 am

11:00 am

12:00 pm

12:30 pm

1:00 pm

1:30 pm

2:00 pm

2:30 pm

10:30 am

11:00 am

11:30 am

12:00 pm

12:30 pm

1:00 pm

1:30 pm

2:00 pm

2:30 pm

3:00 pm

3:30 pm

4:00 pm

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