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Project Update October 2019

Works update

In Kearsney Abbey, work is taking place to fit the internal fixtures of the café, including the electrics and the fittings. Once the café building has been finished, our landscape contractors will start work on the terrace at the front of the building.

The roof lantern on top of the old billiard room has been restored. A new cover to protect the roof lantern is being built off site and will be installed shortly.

When Kearsney Abbey was a private house, there was an ‘eyecatcher’ bridge at the end of the boating lake. A new bridge is being built off site. This will be installed at the end of the lake early next year. This will allow people to do a circular route.

In Russell Gardens, frames are being installed for the new wooden play equipment. There will be a basket swing, a double slide and a tree house. The play equipment, new pathways and repairs to the lily pond, pergolas, boathouse and other brickwork should be finished by the end of this year. We are working closely with DDC’s Principal Heritage Officer.

The slopes above the old tennis courts are being cleared so that an orchard can be planted this winter. The work has been overseen by an ecologist. The new summerhouse is being fitted out with a disabled access toilet. We aim to open this, and the rest of Russell Gardens, early next year.

While the work is taking place, there is limited parking available on site. Please think about using public transport, cycling or walking to the parks. If you do drive, please think about the nearby residents. Please park considerately, and do not block emergency access routes. Thank you.

Pedestrian crossing

Kent County Council’s Highways Department is continuing work on installing a puffin crossing on Alkham Road between Kearsney Abbey and Russell Gardens. The crossing should be finished by the end of October.

Russell Gardens pond

A tender is out for repairing the pond in Russell Gardens. This is not part of the Kearsney Parks project but is being dealt with by DDC’s Parks and Open Spaces team. Once costs have been received, the Parks and Open Spaces team will decide on the next steps.

Kearsney Parks 2020 Calendar

Thank you to everyone who sent in photos for the Kearsney Parks 2020 Calendar! The calendar is now on sale at the mobile café in Kearsney Abbey for £5. It’s a perfect stocking filler for Christmas. From November, you’ll also be able to buy the calendar online at www.kearsneyparks.co.uk/order-calendar. The money raised will be put back into Kearsney Abbey and Russell Gardens.

We’ve had some lovely images and couldn’t use them all. If you’d like to have a photo considered for next year’s calendar, please email it to Kearsney.parks@dover.gov.uk. Photos should be ‘landscape’ layout and be high-resolution files.

Restoring the chalk grassland

Once a month, we’re holding volunteer tasks to clear some of the scrub on Coxhill Mount. This will help to restore the area to chalk grassland. The tasks are being led by the White Cliffs Countryside Partnership. The next task is taking place on Thursday 7 November. More information is at www.kearsneyparks.co.uk/events

'Happy to chat' benches

‘Happy to chat’ benches are beginning to pop up across the world. They were the idea of a woman in Cardiff who saw an elderly man sitting alone. She wanted to make people feel less isolated and designed a simple sign that says ‘Happy to chat bench. Sit here if you don't mind someone stopping to say hello'.  We’ve got a couple of these signs in Kearsney Abbey – why not say hello to someone next time you’re in the park?

Little Wild Things

Little Wild Things, the toddlers’ group with a Forest School ethos, will be back in Kearsney Abbey on Wednesday 30 October. Bring your little one along to explore the park, make new discoveries and get creative with nature! It costs £5 a child (no charge for non-walkers and babies). More information is at www.kearsneyparks.co.uk/events

November surveys

From 11-17 November, we’ll be carrying out a survey in Kearsney Abbey and Russell Gardens to find out how many people are using the parks. We do this survey three times a year to give an update to our funders, the National Lottery. If you’d like to help out, please email kearsney.parks@dover.gov.uk - it only takes an hour or two and is a great opportunity to get out in the fresh air!

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

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