Park improvement works underway

A MAJOR improvement scheme to re-model a popular town park was set to begin today.

Council bosses say Burn Valley Gardens, in Hartlepool, will be more natural and easier to access after the work, which cost £120,000 and is estimated to take 12 weeks, is complete.

The area will be closed to the residents while the work is being carried out.

New footpaths are set to be installed providing better access for elderly and disabled residents, while the top half of the wall, separating Burn Valley Gardens from the neighbouring Burn Valley Family Wood, will also be removed and replaced with a metal railing fence to introduce more light into the park.

The beck through the park will be re-aligned and a programme of landscaping and planting is also planned after the completion of the main work.

Deborah Jefferson of Hartlepool Borough Council’s countryside team, said: “By re-aligning the beck, we aim to create meanders that will slow down its flow in terms of high rainfall and make it easier to reach the water to observe wildlife.

“In some areas, it is intended to create grassy banks that will be graded all the way up from the beck to the perimeter of the park.”

The works are part of the Wild Green Spaces in Hartlepool project and are being funded by the National Lottery and the Environment Agency.

The improvement are being carried out by main contractor Cleveland Land Services.

Deborah added: “A lot of work will be going on over the next few weeks with some large pieces of equipment such as JCB diggers being used.

“This will, inevitably, lead to some disruption and we would like to apologise for any inconvenience that might be caused.

“However, we believe the end result will be a much-improved park for local people to enjoy.”

Some trees will be removed to enable the works to be carried out following approval by the council’s arboriculture section and consultation with the local community.

Replacement trees have been planted in the Family Wood and other areas of Burn Valley Gardens.

The three-year Wild Green Spaces in Hartlepool project, which is funded by Natural England, was launched following a successful bid by Hartlepool council in partnership with the Environment Agency and the Burn Valley Project Steering Group.