New restoration work begins to bring Leasowes back to its former glory

12:12pm Wednesday 9th April 2014

STATE-OF-THE-ART restoration work is starting at The Leasowes this week to mark the 300th anniversary of its creator William Shenstone.

Two wetlands will be recreated as will the historic serpentine pool in a bid to bring the park back closer to the vision that its creator had when he designed the revolutionary gardens in the 18th Century.

Dudley Council have received a £30,000 grant to undertake the work which will recreate three original features.

John Millar, director of the urban environment, is delighted the park is returning to its former glory.

He said: “These latest developments are a continuation of the restoration work already carried out at The Leasowes.

"This current project will return an area of dry land back into wetland which was how William Shenstone had originated created it and will be a fitting tribute to him and his landscape in this 300th year anniversary."

The first work will be the creation of two clay dams and weirs in the park's south valley re-creating two historic wetland areas.

Another clay dam and weir will also be built to re-create the historic serpentine pool.

Mr Millar added: "Finally, work will be undertaken on a historic man made channel which will allow water to flow through the above features and create a flow in a currently dry valley.

"The project is 100 per cent funded though the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme in partnership with Natural England."

Last month the News announced the walled garden at the heart of The Leasowes, which was abandoned when Stourbridge College moved its horticultural centre to Kidderminster, is set to get a £500,000 facelift.

A deal is expected to be struck for the sale of the site to the Hales Owen Abbey Trust, by Birmingham Metropolitan College, which took over Stourbridge College last year.

Trust secretary Mick Freer is hoping to secure up to £500,000 of lottery funding to fully restore it to its 18th century heyday.

Leasowes Park has national historical significance due to the landscaping carried out by poet William Shenstone from 1743 until his death in 1763.

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