Gatton Park wins Heritage Lottery Fund
Gatton Park, Reigate has received £50,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting new project encouraging people to get more involved in their local heritage and to reinstate ‘Capability’ Brown’s designed viewpoints and tree plantings across the landscape. The start of the project is well timed to link with this year’s celebration of the 300th anniversary of Brown’s birth
“Capability Brown’s Vision for Gatton Park” project will build on the excellent restoration work and activities provided for the local community at Gatton Park over the last 20 years. It will offer more opportunities for people of all ages to learn about the heritage and history of Gatton Park and encourage local people to get more involved in its physical restoration.
As well as clearing areas to expose the original views and now mature trees, the project will plant new tree clumps and restore the character of the Park to Brown’s original vision. New interpretation boards and leaflets will help visitors better find their way around Gatton Park. By exploring the landscape with local community groups, ideas will be generated for pop up art installations to be created by local artists from natural materials from the landscape. Using outdoor adventures and indoor crafts a new family learning course for parents and children - Wow What a View! – will help children and parents discover the landscape of Gatton and how to explore designed and natural environments elsewhere. New volunteer tour guides will be trained to provide regular tours of the whole landscape for both individuals and groups. It is also planned to highlight the Wray Lane entrance to the Park by the installation of new railings and gate. The grant will also be used to provide parkland railings to replace old damaged fencing which will improve management of the landscape.
The National Trust and the Gatton Trust have already restored many of Brown’s features and this project will build on previous clearing and planting works to ensure that future generations can enjoy this wonderful landscape. Of the approximately 250 gardens attributed to Brown, there were three or four others in Surrey, but Gatton Park is the only one within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Commenting on the award, Louise Miller, Chief Executive of the Gatton Trust said, “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. We can’t wait to get started on the project and to welcome lots of new visitors and transform the viewpoints as ‘Capability’ Brown first intended. We are confident the project will help visitors of all ages to learn more about the local history and heritage of this wonderful designed landscape and be more involved in restoring Brown’s original vision for the landscape.”
Stuart McLeod, Head of HLF South East, said: “The 300th anniversary has ignited a fantastic interest in Capability Brown and his famous landscape designs. So it’s a fitting time to be embarking on this project to return Gatton Park back to Brown’s original vision. Thanks to National Lottery players, not only will our investment open up views not seen for generations, it will also help people better understand the park’s 250 year history.”
27 September 2016