In 2010 a group of residents got together wanting to do something about the state of our lovely but neglected park – and this resulted in the bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund’s ‘Parks for People’ programme. After lots of hard work with Camden and the whole project team, we were absolutely delighted to be awarded funding from the HLF in Summer 2013 to restore Alexandra Road Park. The restoration works finished in July 2015, after almost a year on site.
So – what has happened in the park? In a nutshell the park restoration project has resulted in these improvements:
– new purpose made playgrounds to replace the original ones (which had all been removed). There are 4 new playgrounds in the sunken walled spaces: one for young children, one for older kids, a playground with all different types of swings – as well as a space for ball games. Lots of the children living on the estate have helped us with the design of these, and we are really excited about them!
– restoring all the paths which had become bumpy and uneven over the years so they are suitable for all – including for pushchairs and wheelchairs – so everyone can get to more of the park. This includes creating a few new or improved paths as well.
– revitalising the planting with new plants, shrubs and trees as well as managing better the original planting. This has reinstated the original planting scheme with a few additions to bring it up to date with the latest plant types – the original park designer Janet Jack helped us with all the details of these proposals. There will be much more year-round colour and less bare soil, and we’ve also been thinking about how to incorporate planting which is good for our wildlife.
The detailed proposals for all these major improvements to the park have been developed by a fantastic team of experts who were appointed by Camden in partnership with the residents, and have worked closely with Janet Jack on all the details of the proposals. The Alexandra Road Park team of consultants was:
Project Manager: Sue Morgan of Around the Block
Landscape Designers: J+L Gibbons
Playground Designers: Erect Architecture
Engineers: Jane Wernick Associates
Conservation and Heritage: Sarah Couch Historic Landscapes
Activity Planning and Visitor Evaluation: MTW Ltd
Management and Maintenance: Around the Block
On top of all this, there have been massive improvements to the way the park is being run and looked after. The park has a Head Gardener! The Head Gardener and his team are playing a big role in looking after the park now it’s been finished. We also have an activities coordinator for the park who is organising all sorts of activities in the park over the coming years for residents and the local community, and even groups who might come from further afield to study and use the park now it’s restored.