Monday, 17 July 2017

Ashford Parks to Receive Lottery Funding

Victoria Park
Two Ashford parks have been picked to receive extra cash from the National Lottery.

Victoria Park and Watercress Fields, both in Ashford, have been earmarked for £3.2 million funding.

Victoria Park is a formal park with mature ornamental trees, and a small area of woodland. Some of the trees were planted in the early part of the 20th century to commemorate local towns people and members of the royal family. A local art dealer donated the large fountain in one corner of the park to the town of Ashford. It was originally designed for the Great Exhibition and resided on the Olantigh Estate at Wye. There is a small pond at the bottom of the park surrounded by a rocky garden.

To the west of Victoria Park, Watercress Fields is a greenspace for recreation with many natural features. The river here has a natural profile with many meanders, and wide margins of vegetation that support riverside species such as cuckoo flower and alder. The river itself supports water voles, having sufficient food resources and bankside cover. The rest of the park has an open character that is interspersed with planted trees and areas of long grass that are important habitats for bird species and invertebrates. In 2013 a community orchard was created in part of this site. In the past it is thought that watercress may have been grown on the site. Further along the river at Leacon Road there are some riverside sculptures of aquatic wildlife and an old fording point that once linked this area with Beaver Lane.

This coming weekend (22nd July) Victoria Park plays host to Create music festival

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