The Bushy Park Restoration Project - Preserving History and Nature Factsheet


Scope of restoration and improvements More than 80 separate projects to: restore formal gardens and buildings; provide better facilities and access for visitors; improve habitats for wildlife and plants; and develop a more comprehensive education programme for schools and the community.
Funding The total cost was £7.2 million and the sources of funding included: The Royal Parks, Heritage Lottery Fund, The Crown Estate, the Royall Parks Foundation and other supporters.
Timescale Project planning initiated in 2000 but work began January 2006. Completion due end of 2009.
Pheasantry Welcome Centre The new centre, which opened in August, is already popular with visitors. It has a café, public toilets, education and community room and an information point.
Upper Lodge Water Gardens The core of the early 18th century Water Gardens has been restored, drawing on research by The Friends of Bushy and Home Parks. The gardens were created in about 1710 for Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax, the ranger of Bushy Park who lived at Upper Lodge.
Brewhouse This early 18th century building, which once provided ale for the Upper Lodge estate, has been restored. It is now linked to the Water Gardens by a footbridge over the Longford River.
Diana Fountain The magnificent 17th century fountain, which stands in the basin at the junction of Chestnut and Lime Avenues, is being cleaned and repaired to full working order. The fountain first stood in Somerset House in the 1630s and was installed in Bushy Park in 1713. The statue on top by Le Sueur is popularly known as Diana but some authorities think she represents the Greek water nymph, Arethusa.
Woodland Gardens The gardens, comprising the Waterhouse and Pheasantry Plantations, have seen improvements to streams and fencing, new path layouts and planting, and essential maintenance work.
Access Work included new paths and improved path networks, adjustments to gateways and a rebuilt Church Grove Gate at Hampton Wick.
Biodiversity Improvements have included the de-silting of water bodies and the introduction of native aquatic plants, which will benefit freshwater invertebrates, fish and amphibians. Riverbanks will be improved to provide feeding areas and safe passage for wildlife.
Tree planting More than 1,000 new trees have been planted throughout the park.
Education The education programme has been expanded to provide more activities for primary and secondary schools, including discovery days and school assemblies. New community projects include family activity weeks, volunteering opportunities and heritage self-guided trails. The redeveloped education centre at the Stockyard provides better facilities for staff and volunteers.