When I first read about the 'conservation and renovation upgrades' planned for our lovely local park, I confess I shuddered. As those of you who read regularly will know, I have enjoyed walks around the lake in Mote Park for almost forty years. It is my favourite local haunt and like many local people, I feel very protective of it, a sense of ownership ... so reading news of change in the local paper, filled me with what I am relieved to say has proved to be, an irrational sense of doom.
Walking in Mote Park with my niece
... almost quarter of a century ago
When Stuart and I visited a few months ago, ground work was well under way for creating new access routes throughout the park, trees had been cleared and much of the park resembled a building site. We began to see possibilities, but couldn't help but wonder whether the rather radical ground clearance could be of benefit to the park, given the amount of tree and plant life that had suffered ...
View of the lake
We've since been back quite regularly to watch the park recover. New paths now guide the visitor gently, providing natural platforms for spectacular, long lost views. This photograph of the lake above was taken from one such vantage point.
The Volunteers' Pavilion
The neglected circa 1800's 'Volunteers Pavilion' has been transformed, making a proud statement on the landscape once again!
Visitors to the park now soak up wonderful views from well positioned benches, one hundred fresh young trees flourish, the little 1840's waterfall, once long overgrown, has been restored and a smart new bridge ensures safe passage across the lake!
There is still work to be done of course; the icing on the cake would be new toilet facilities and I look forward to the day when scummy rubbish from the river no longer collects at the foot of the pathway where families gather to feed the ducks ... but all in all, I am happy to say my fears were unfounded, the improvements to Mote Park have been sympathetically planned and carefully executed for the benefit of those who love the park and those who have yet to discover its charms.
Boating on the lake
Here's to many more Mote Park walks for years to come!