Gardens to get a facelift

TWO landmarks of Letchworth GC are to get makeovers – and the public are being asked how they should be done. Howard Park and the nearby Howard Gardens, which are both named after the founder of the town and are Grade II listed, are in line for conservati

TWO landmarks of Letchworth GC are to get makeovers - and the public are being asked how they should be done.

Howard Park and the nearby Howard Gardens, which are both named after the founder of the town and are Grade II listed, are in line for conservation and regeneration work.

One aim is to get more people to use the park which was laid out 100 years ago on agricultural land following an informal design from the garden city's pioneer architects, Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded North Hertfordshire District Council a £38,000 grant for work on the two areas.

This is being topped up with £10,000 each from the council and Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation.

A wide number of people will be consulted including visitors ranging from schoolchildren to specialist groups, statutory authorities such as Letchworth Garden City Town Council, staff and volunteers. The public will be asked for their views too as plans are drawn up by consultants.

Most Read

Among the historically important features of the sites are memorials, an avenue of lime trees and a paddling pool dating from the 1930s.

The town's first swimming pool was once in the gardens and the Mrs Howard Memorial Hall is currently being restored for community use.

As part of the study the history of the gardens will be thoroughly researched along with the park's importance to the garden city as a whole and its potential for the future.

The final plan must include details of future maintenance and management as well as proposals for development and for conservation of wildlife and historically significant features.

The council hopes to be awarded further Lottery funding to complete the work that is agreed after the consultation ends.

Cllr Ian Knighton, portfolio holder for leisure, said: "We are looking for a plan that will both acknowledge the heritage of this historic site and make it more attractive for the next generation.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter