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Project Update July 2020

If you’re heading out to Kearsney Abbey or Russell Gardens, or any other outdoor space, please do follow the latest government guidelines on social distancing to enjoy summer safely. You can find the latest advice at www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Café and toilets in Kearsney Abbey

We’re delighted to be welcoming back a temporary café to Kearsney Abbey. Riverside Catering, who ran the previous temporary café, will be back on site from early next week. Temporary toilets are also coming back to the park and will open at the same time.

Works update

Landscaping works are continuing in both Russell Gardens and Kearsney Abbey.

The contractors are creating a new oval-shaped area planted with yew shrubs, on the cleared slopes in Russell Gardens, above the steps up from the lily pond. This is in line with Thomas Mawson’s original design for the gardens.

The banks in Russell Gardens have been seeded with grass and this should start to grow shortly. The banks along the newly exposed river in Kearsney Abbey have also been seeded with grass. Once this has established, we’ll be putting in marginal planting along the river edges, to provide shelter for the brown trout. This is why the area continues to be fenced off to let the grass establish.

Pathway works continue to take place to link the new café terracing and main pathway to the lakes in Kearsney Abbey. Further works to pathways will continue and the pathway to the play area in Kearsney Abbey is being resurfaced. We apologise for any inconvenience while these works are taking place but it is an essential part of the project. The temporary pathway next to the lake edge will remain in place for use until the pathway works are complete.

The pathways on the north side of the lake in Russell Gardens are being tarmacked and chipped. The pathway on the south side of the lake will stay open.

Car park

The car park extension in Kearsney Abbey is now open. The new extension and the existing tarmac car park have 106 spaces in total. When the new café building opens, there will be a further six disabled spaces next to the café. There are currently two disabled spaces in the existing car park.

Free duck food!

You may see the Kearsney Parks team in the parks over the next few weeks, handing out free duck food. We’ll be handing out the bags of food from a 2 metre-long fishing net, so we’ll be safely social distancing!

Please don’t feed the birds bread. It has little nutritional value and rotting bread pollutes the water which can harm the birds and other species.

As we have so many visitors to the park every year, we can’t monitor how much bread the birds are fed. Please use healthier alternatives such as bird food, peas, sweetcorn, oats, seedless grapes cut in half and chopped up lettuce.

Botanical surveys

Before lock-down a team of volunteers were helping us to clear some of the scrub on Coxhill Mount. This will help to restore the chalk grassland, which can host up to 40 species of plant in a square metre. We can’t run volunteer tasks at the moment, but we’ve done some surveys to find which plants are growing there. We’ve found a number of species, including wild marjoram, meadow vetchling and heath bedstraw. We’ll be monitoring the area as we hope to see a wider variety of species over time. If you’d like to get involved when we can welcome back volunteers again, please email kearsney.parks@dover.gov.uk

Keep in touch

If you have any comments or questions, please email us on kearsney.parks@dover.gov.uk or follow us on Twitter @Kearsneyparks and on Facebook @kearsneyabbey

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