0129…Stoke Park Landscaping

owlHISTORY OF STOKE GIFFORD
Edited by Adrian Kerton

 

STOKE PARK, BRISTOL OUTLINE MANAGEMENT PLAN

Thomas Wright’s Plans for Stoke Park

Stoke_Park_Wright_1-350Stoke_Park_Wright_2-350

1791 £4 -19s – 5d for cleaning Obelisk [ note by Mike Stanbrook ]

SEPTEMBER 1999

These details have kindly been supplied by the

COOPER PARTNERSHIP LIMITED

Their document has been reformatted for this Site

Appendix A: Plans

Cooper_Partnership_722-20Cooper_Partnership_722-23Cooper_Partnership_722-23ACooper_Partnership_722-24A

Cooper_Partnership_722-32

ACCOMPANYING REPORTS:

(Not included in this document)

Ecological Appraisal, Cresswell Associates

Desk-top Archaeological Study, Wessex Archaeology

Arboricultural Assessment, Alan J Engley

1 .0 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

1.1 This management plan has been prepared by Cooper Partnership in support of a planning application submitted in May 1998 to South Gloucestershire Council for residential development on the site of Stoke Park Hospital, South Gloucestershire.

1.2 After consultation with both South Gloucestershire and Bristol City Councils, in whose areas Stoke Park lies, minor amendments were carried out to the appendices as follows:

1 inclusion of the requirement for reviewing the works against targets to ascertain the need for reprioritisation in the >Outline Management Regime= (now Appendix B);

2 the addition of a >First Three Years Priority Works Programme= (Appendix C);

3 the addition of a >Arboricultural Works: First Priority List= (Appendix D);

4 the addition of an appraisal of grant funding that could apply to works to the park (Appendix E);

5 the addition of a drawing (722/32:07) showing the percentage of scrub clearance in each character area.

1.3 Stoke Park is a remarkably intact 18th Century landscape, principally developed by Thomas Wright for the Berkeley family. From 1915 until its closure in 1996, it was a psychiatric hospital. Over that period, the landscape declined with the loss of parkland trees, the neglect of the woodland and structures and the loss of peripheral areas of the estate.

1.4 The decline in the quality and condition of the landscape was accelerated by the construction in 1968 of the M32 through the lower part of the park. Nevertheless, Stoke Park is one of the most significant and prominent areas of open space in Bristol, strategically placed on a long ridge above the Frome Valley, and it is widely visible over large areas of north-east Bristol and beyond.

1.5 In 1991, Land Use Consultants published the Stoke Park Restoration Masterplan on behalf of the Stoke Park Restoration Trust, and partly funded by Bristol City Council and Northavon District Council. That report was extensively researched and provided restoration and management proposals for all of the remaining historic landscape. In July 1996, Scott Wilson Resource Consultants produced ‘The Development of Management Options for Stoke Park, Bristol’ to consider the future use and management of the park.

1.6 In 1998, a Consortium of three house builders bought the hospital site and most of the adjoining parkland, with a view to developing the hospital site for housing, restoring the Dower House and managing the parkland.

1.7 This outline management plan has been developed to take account of the changes in circumstances since 1991 LUC Report, which include the following:

1 the Consortium has control over a smaller area of the historic landscape than that considered in 1991;

2 the Duchess Gates have been restored;

3 a new Duchess Pond has been constructed;

4 there has been further deterioration of the landscape and structures;

5 nature conservation issues now have a higher priority.

1.8 This Management Plan prioritises resources on those areas where the quality of the landscape is still evident and where landscape, archaeological and ecological resources would most benefit from management. Because the Consortium wish to hear the views of the local authorities, detailed considerations have not been developed, but the basic tasks needed to implement the plan. It is a description of the processes that the Consortium will put in place to ensure that Stoke Park will receive the most significant input of resources since it was designed in the 18th Century by Thomas Wright. These proposals represent the only opportunity that has occurred to implement some of the works in the 1991 Masterplan.

1.9 Cooper Partnership are a Landscape and Environmental Consultancy based in Bristol, with wide landscape design and planning experience, including restoration and management of historic landscapes.

2 .0 SCOPE

2.1 Stoke Park is located at the north-eastern edge of Bristol, largely surrounded by development at Lockleaze, Stapleton and the University of the West of England.

2.2 This Management Plan considers the area of the Grade II Registered Historic Landscape that is in the ownership of the Consortium, as shown on Plan 01. It does not consider the area of the former Stoke Park Hospital site, where the Consortium is seeking planning consent to restore the mansion, the former orangery, more recently used as a chapel and other associated listed structures, as well as construct residential development. The hospital site is considered separately within the Stoke Park Development Framework proposals.

2.3 The following areas of the registered landscape are excluded as they are outside the control of the Consortium:

1 Duchess Park, with the exception of the valley containing the carriage drive down to Duchess Gates;

2 the areas of open space at the edge of Lockleaze that are under the control of Bristol City Council;

3 Simms Hill, on the east side of Stoke Lane;

4 the area occupied by the repeater station on Purdown.

3 .0 METHODOLOGY

3.1 The basis for this management plan has been the restoration proposals contained in the 1991 LUC Masterplan. This is a document that has been researched and compiled by a nationally recognised consultant and has been approved by organisations with an interest in the landscape of Stoke Park.

3.2 Additional studies were carried out in 1998 for this management plan. Ecology and archaeology are based on studies carried out for Barton Willmore, extended to include all of the Consortium ownership. The studies are:

1 Ecology: Phase 1 habitat study by Cresswell Associates;

2 Archaeology: Desk top study by Wessex Archaeological Consultants;

3 Arboricultural: Arboricultural Assessment by Alan J Engley.

These reports are appended to this Management Plan.

3.3 This Management Plan reviews those reports along with the 1991 Masterplan in the context of:

1 development of the hospital site for housing;

2 the changes to the landscape since 1991.

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4 .0 OBJECTIVES

4.1 This Management Plan aims to achieve the following objectives for Stoke Park:

1 to secure the long-term future of the landscape;

2 retain and where feasible, restore features of the historic landscape;

3 maintain and enhance nature conservation value;

4 improve public access;

5 ensure the safety of the public using the area;

6 retain features of archaeological significance.

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5 .0 DESCRIPTION

5.1 The history of Stoke Park and its historical assessment are comprehensively covered by the 1991 LUC Masterplan. We do not repeat it here. Instead, we consider the significant changes to the landscape since 1991, and the features identified in the 1998 ecological, archaeological and arboricultural reports.

The Landscape of Stoke Park

5.2 The 1991 report identified six character areas, and for consistency and ease of interpretation, we are using the same definitions where they are covered by this management plan. They are shown on Plan 02 and are:

1 Hospital site, but only including the Barn Wood Valley to the west of the Dower House, and Stable Hill to the east;

2 Barn Wood;

3 Hermitage and Long Woods;

4 House Park, including the narrow valley leading to Duchess Gates but excluding Duchess Park between the M32 and Frenchay Park Road;

5 Purdown, but excluding the areas of open space adjacent to Lockleaze under the control of Bristol City Council.

5.3 The following brief descriptions are based on those in the LUC report updated to provide a context for the understanding of the landscape of Stoke Park.

Hospital Area:

5.4 For this Management Plan, the only parts of LUC’s hospital character areas considered are the two derelict areas either side of the House. Between the House and Stoke Lane are the former Hospital gardens on Stable Hill, which have now been fenced off and are becoming increasingly neglected. The steeper slopes below the House and Chapel have become wooded; a mixture of sycamore and elm regeneration and exotic plantings. Below is an area of flatter land with a derelict cottage, surrounded by long grass and bramble. The 20th Century boundary has been planted with Lombardy poplar and lime, and fenced.

5.5 West of the House is Barn Wood Valley which is beginning to revert to woodland. The upper slopes on the House side of the valley are covered with elm and sycamore. The margins of Barn Wood are extending into the valley floor. The upper end of the valley is closed by a planting of Lombardy poplar; the lower end is beginning to close as bramble and sycamore become established along the modern fence line. In the past, stock have broken into Barn Wood and Hermitage Wood.

5.6 The Boiler House chimney and part of the wards are visible from the Park, but they do not distract from the main focus which is the House. The flanking woodlands on the slopes screen off most of the Hospital site and give the impression that the site is backed by woods. This has become a wooded slope with sycamore and other scrub growth. Despite the presence of the hospital, the essential elements of the Dower House and its setting remain largely unspoilt. The stunning ramparts command the view and the House remains a focus from the Park.

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Barn Wood:

5.7 Barn Wood is directly west of the House and is a long east-west wood on the south facing slopes overlooking the Park. It incorporates plantings from three periods. The oldest part lies west of the tunnel; a large woodland boundary bank and large field maple and hazel coppice stools suggests the wood is of considerable antiquity. Today the only remnants of the coppice system lie west and south of the Rotunda site. Between the Rotunda and the tunnel is an area of sycamore and elm regeneration.

5.8 The second area of woodland lies to the north and south of the barn site and is principally mid-eighteenth century horse chestnut and beech which screened the farmyard site. Between the banks of planting on the site of the Barn Yard is an area of bramble, nettles and ruderals. This area was used for dumping rubbish during this century and contains mainly clinker, but also glass, china and metal objects.

5.9 East of the footpath and steps is the most recent area of woodland possibly enclosed around 1756 when the Beaufort Memorial is thought to have been built. There is a greater mixture of planted trees here including sycamore, beech, horse chestnut, sweet chestnut, lime, holm oak and turkey oak with sycamore regeneration. The nature conservation value of these woods and those surrounding the Barn Yard is limited.

5.10 The path between the Barn Yard and the Beaufort Memorial is a statutory right of way. A survey has traced the line of historic paths from the east end of Barn Wood past the Beaufort Memorial and over the tunnel. Here the paths divide to run:

1 south along the scarp slope to the Obelisk and then north to Hermitage Wood;

2 to Hermitage Wood passing close to the Rotunda.

5.11 The configuration of Barn Wood appears to have changed little since 1768 except for areas where regeneration has extended into the park, notably below the tunnel which has now become woodland. Most of the 18th Century buildings which were within the wood have since disappeared including the Barn, the Barn Gateway and the Rotunda. However, the Beaufort Memorial, the tunnel and the stone-lined pond have survived. The planting has also suffered over the last one hundred years. Much of the planting around the Barn Yard site and the Beaufort Memorial is over-mature. In the western half, twentieth century clearance has led to the development of sycamore/elm scrub.

Hermitage and Long Woods:

5.12 Hermitage and Long Woods are on the opposite sides of a gentle north facing valley, drained by a stream, which runs north to Wallscourt Farm.

5.13 These woods are unmanaged and neglected. The southern half of Hermitage Wood and most of Long Wood appear to consist of high forest trees made up of oak standards and singled or neglected ash coppice stools with an under storey of dense hazel with some field maple. Mixed in the woodland are occasional eighteenth century trees. These are mainly beech or yew with lime and horse chestnut in Hermitage Wood. The nature conservation value of these areas is high as they are almost certainly Ash-Maple ancient woodlands.

5.14 The only structure in the Wood is the tunnel carrying the track which runs between the woods. This has lost its rusticated stone facing in recent years.

5.15 Most of the woods have barbed wire post and rail fencing which has been breached in many places. The central track between the woods is a public footpath leading from Ashley Village, Bristol Polytechnic in the north to the Duchess Gates and Purdown to the south and west. The path is in good condition, although scrub is developing along its edge outside the woodland boundary. It is regularly used by dog walkers and cyclists. The paths in the woods are rough unmaintained tracks. The path network appears random and only occasionally coincides with the paths designed by Wright.

5.16 The open glades or ‘saloons’ and the bulk of the exotic planting have been lost. Hermitage and Long Woods do not appear substantially different from how they would have been in 1749 when Thomas Wright began the process of creating woodland gardens.

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House Park:

5.17 The House Park is seen from the House and includes the series of seven dramatic, steep sided spurs to the north and west overlooking the low lying park below. The positioning of the House, its eyecatchers and the planting exploit the landform to the full. The planting of Barn Wood and Pale Plantation was deliberately held back from the edge of the spurs to emphasise the landform. The centre of the Park is a broad valley from north of Pale Plantation to Duchess Gates on Frenchay Park Road. The bottom of the valley is occupied by the reconstructed Duchess Pond, the spoil from which has been deposited on the adjacent land, obliterating the subtle landform and replacing it with a plateau. Between the Park Gates and the M32, the valley is steep-sided.

5.18 Until October 1997, almost all the area was grazed by sheep and cattle. Large parts of the Park around Star Hill and Pale Plantation have reverted to scrub woodland, mainly thorn, ash and oak. The steep-sided valley by the Duchess Gates is not grazed and the valley sides are now covered with bramble and scrub woodland of thorn, oak and elm.

5.19 Pale Plantation was largely planted in 1746, as a stand of beech and horse chestnut, but has a more diverse understorey. The trees and ground flora have suffered from use of the wood as a playground and vandalism. Pond Field Wood is an older wood and appears to contain components of a native Ash-Maple woodland. The lack of fencing has led to a marked decline in nature conservation interest as the ground flora has been greatly reduced.

5.20 Duchess Gates serves the House using the M32 tunnel. From the tunnel, the vehicular track heads north-east to join the old drive and enter the Hospital Site north-west of the House, and south-west beside the M32 to Elm Tree Farm. They are also public rights-of-way. Another public footpath heads west from the tunnel and divides just after the pond; the northern path heading towards the west end of Barn Wood and eventually Hermitage Woods and the western path towards Pale Plantation and onto Lockleaze.

5.21 Early maps both show the Park with considerable numbers of parkland trees, but in 1991 there were only nine parkland trees in the House Park. The process has been reversed in some areas as large areas of scrub have developed around Star Hill and Pale Plantation. There is now almost continuous woodland from Barn Hill to the M32 cutting to the south-west.

5.22 The construction of the M32 has changed the character of Stoke Park. The motorway cuts across the park from south-west to north-east passing within 150 metres of the House. The motorway is in a slight cutting below the House, but rises to an embankment of 2 to 3m, south of the Tunnel. The most damaging aspects of the motorway presence is the traffic noise and the visually intrusive nature of the moving vehicles, particularly the high-sided vehicles. The higher the viewpoint within House Park, the greater the motorways intrusion. It particularly intrudes on the view from the House.

Purdown:

5.23 Purdown is the plateau which is crowned with the Radio Repeater Station. Purdown has a steep scarp slope overlooking the M32; the slopes which run towards Pale Plantation and Pond Field Wood are less steep. Close by is the now derelict Anti-Aircraft camp which is a scheduled ancient monument.

5.24 Purdown is a mosaic of mown, grazed and scrubby land. The most southerly field on the steepest slopes of Purdown is now over 50% covered with thorn, scrub and bramble suggesting this area is undergrazed. The derelict Anti-Aircraft site is also developing a young stand of ash and bramble cover.

5.25 Most of the fences are in poor or moderate condition. The concrete posts of a 6; high chain link fence are still standing west of Pale Plantation but this has also been replaced by post and rail fence.

5.26 The Bristol City Council land adjacent to Lockleaze is public open space. At the southern end of the Park there is vehicular access from Sir John’s Lane and from the access road to Heath House which crosses the M32 by bridge from Stapleton. There are three principal footpaths on Purdown, all emanating from the Sir John’s Lane entrance to the Park. The first passes along the boundary of Lockleaze and into Hermitage and Long Woods. The second path passes through the Anti-Aircraft site and onto Pale Plantation and joins the first to go through Hermitage and Long Woods. The third path passes west down the scarp slope and travels along the southern edge of the park overlooking the M32 until reaching the tunnel under the M32 where the path leads to Duchess Gates.

5.27 The construction of the M32 at this end of the Park has had less effect than in the House Park. The noise and visual intrusion of the motorway are reduced by the deep cutting the motorway has made into the side of Purdown. The housing of Lockleaze lies across the historic boundary of the Park for over a kilometre. Most of the housing lies below the crest of Purdown ridge, but it dominates the north-west side of Purdown.

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Landscape

5.28 Significant changes to the parkland since the 1991 LUC Report have included the following:

1 damage by illegal motorcycle access;

2 ending of grazing;

3 further deterioration of listed structures;

4 construction of the new Duchess Pond.

Motorcycle Damage:

5.29 In recent years, off-road motorcyclists have had access to Purdown and the House Park. This has had the following effects:

1 minor damage to the grass on Purdown;

2 damage to the pillow mound on Purdown, wearing a slot across its width and splitting it in two;

3 most significantly, forming a large circular track across the western part of the House Park, destroying the semi-calcareous turf and producing a scar across one of the most prominent parts of the Stoke Park landscape.

Ending of Grazing:

5.30 The grazing regime in the park, which broadly consisted of sheep in the House Park and cattle on the south-western part of Purdown, has been suspended since about October 1997 when the grazing licence ended. Although the motorcycles had access to the site while the grazing continued, now that the park is no longer being managed, the air of neglect is increased and further abuse of the landscape has not been discouraged. Additionally, the condition of fences and gates is no longer monitored, coarse grasses are rapidly becoming established and scrub can be expected to spread.

Deterioration of Listed Structures:

5.31 Although it is likely that all listed structures will have suffered some deterioration through vandalism and the effects of weather, the most damage has been caused to the tunnel in Barn Wood which now has a substantial hole in the roof, possibly through a large tree falling over, and several trees rooted in the roof.

5.32 However, since 1991 the gate posts and walls at Duchess Gates have been restored and the gates replaced and the Beaufort Memorial in Barn Wood has also been restored.

Duchess Pond:

5.33 The restoration of the Duchess Pond was being planned at the time of the LUC report, and has been subsequently executed with a plan broadly corresponding to that shown on the LUC plan. However, its width is fairly even and its banks appear steep. It is currently fenced so it does not blend into the grassland of the park and the associated tree planting is overgrown with a poor establishment rate.

5.34 When the pond was restored, a large quantity of spoil was unsympathetically deposited either side on the parkland, destroying the flow of the valley forms that originate from the sides of the bowl and are an integral part of the character of Stoke Park. The deposited material on the north-east side of the pond forms a shallow plateau with, what is effectively a ditch around its perimeter.

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Ecology

5.35 The following summarises the results of the Phase 1 habitat survey of the area subject to the Management Plan, carried out by Cresswell Associates in February 1998.

Existing Records:

5.36 The park has been designated as site of County Importance for Nature Conservation. The area in Bristol City has been designated as a Bristol Wildlife site, and the area in South Gloucestershire as a Site of Nature Conservation Importance. In addition, the Lockleaze playing fields along the western boundary have been designated as a Bristol Network Site. More details on existing records are found in the accompanying Ecological Appraisal Report.

Survey Results:

5.37 Within the Ecological Appraisal Report, the principal results of the field surveys are presented in map form (on Figures 2 and 3), and summarised on Plan 03 in this report. Features of particular conservation value, or habitats not readily conforming to the recognised types are described individually as Target Notes in the report. Sites of particular conservation value are identified and described in the following sections.

Plants and Habitats:

5.38 The site comprises various semi-natural habitats with Stoke Park. These included broad-leaved woodland, dense scrub, and semi-improved neutral and calcareous grassland. The current survey was undertaken too early in the season to confirm the value of all of the areas that had been identified as species-rich during the previous surveys (or from the desk study records).

5.39 Non-native trees had been planted within all of the woodlands, the majority of which appeared to have been the result of re-planting schemes from the mid-eighteenth century onwards. This planting was most extensive in Hermitage Wood, Pale Plantation and in the eastern end of Barn Wood. However, intensive formal management appeared to have ceased some time ago and the woodlands were developing more natural features. The dense shade cast by several of these planted stands appeared to have inhibited the development of ground flora plants. In Long Wood, Hermitage Wood and Barn Wood, where a more natural tree and shrub canopy had developed, the ground flora within these woodlands appeared to be diverse. Although the ground flora appeared to be reasonably diverse in Pale Plantation and Pond Field Wood, here the plants tended to be clustered in smaller groups than in the other woodlands. In Pale Plantation, this appeared in part to be caused by trampling.

5.40 A band of dense tall scrub with scattered trees formed a link between Pale Plantation and Barn Wood. Within this area of scrub, the field layer was sparse and appeared to support few woodland ground flora species.

5.41 An additional band of scrub and recently-formed Ash woodland (along an old hedge-line) linked Pale Plantation with Pond Field Wood. Again there was little woodland ground flora in this area. Two hedges (one of which had grown out to form a band of scrub) served as a link between Pond Field Wood and Barn Wood.

5.42 The majority of the grassland comprised species-poor semi-improved grassland. However, a number of the slopes appeared to support a more diverse flora. Several species indicative of calcareous grassland were identified. However, since a number of grassland herbs would not have been not visible in the winter, it was not possible fully to assess the extent and quality of this habitat. These areas of grassland did not appear to have been actively managed in recent years. This lack of management appeared to have encouraged the encroachment of scrub to the detriment of the grassland habitat, particularly on Purdown. During the survey, it was noted that there were a number of wide motorcycle tracks on the grassy slopes. This activity also appeared to be having a detrimental effect on the grassland flora.

5.43 A small number of wetland features were identified, comprising three small ponds and a Duchess Pond. Although only excavated/renovated during the last few years, Duchess Pond was found to support a wetland flora. It was not clear at the time of survey how much of this flora had been deliberately planted. In addition, the large field to the south-west of the lake contained a small patch of Hard Rush. However, it did not appear to support any other marshland plants, although some may not have been visible during a winter survey. None of the other ponds appeared to support a significant amount of wetland vegetation; most were heavily shaded and filled with accumulated leaf litter.

5.44 Duchess Gate supported a mosaic of semi-natural habitats. These included recently planted broad-leaved woodland, calcareous grassland, tall ruderal herbs, and bramble scrub. The ground flora within the small blocks of woodland appeared to be dominated by rank grasses and species more commonly associated with disturbed ground.

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Invertebrates:

5.45 No specific invertebrate surveys were undertaken in conjunction with the current survey or as part of the previous BEC/CA surveys. The desk study revealed limited information with regard to the site’s invertebrate fauna and the majority of the records had been collected around Duchess Pond. The results of the various habitat surveys indicated that the site as a whole was likely to be of some value for a range of invertebrate groups. The most important feature was the amount of dead wood; including dead branches on mature trees, standing trees and a significant accumulation of fallen timber. This suggested that the site (and the woodlands in particular) represents potentially valuable habitat for saproxylic invertebrates.

Amphibians and Reptiles:

5.46 Several of the ponds recorded during the previous surveys were found to no longer be suitable for use by breeding amphibians. A small number of additional ponds were identified elsewhere in Stoke Park. All would be expected to be of, at best, limited value for breeding amphibians, although the ponds identified by Target Notes 24 and 26 could contain great crested newts.

5.47 No specific surveys have been carried out for reptiles, none were recorded incidentally and no records of any reptile species have been revealed during the desk study. Nevertheless, Stoke Park is likely to support populations of common species. However, no features were identified that would be expected to be of particular value and little suitable habitat for reptiles was identified within the boundaries of the redevelopment site.

Birds:

5.48 Only incidental observations of birds were recorded during the current survey. This revealed a reasonable abundance and diversity of common species, given the season during which the site was visited. In particular, a range of hole-nesting birds were observed, along with some species encountered less frequently in semi-urban situations, such as woodcock (Scolopax rusticola). A similar range of species (although, in this case, a greater proportion of woodland species) was recorded during a previous survey of Hermitage Wood and its surroundings. Although the majority were collected more than 20 years ago, the desk study records of birds within Stoke Park as a whole indicate that, at least during previous years, the site supported an impressive range of birds.

Mammals

Bats:

5.49 The investigations of nocturnal bat activity carried out as part of previous surveys were not repeated. Briefly, these surveys revealed that the woodlands, tree lines and hedges in the northern part of Stoke Park were used quite extensively by foraging bats. It is likely that most of the remainder of Stoke Park is similarly productive for foraging bats. Indeed, several features such as the linkage of the woodlands and tree lines/groups by bands of scrub; relatively sheltered areas of species-rich grassland; and the recently renovated Duchess Pond suggest that this may be a relatively important site for bats that roost in this part of the city fringe.

5.50 Because of the large number of parkland trees carrying dead wood, several were identified as potentially suitable for occupation by roosting or hibernating bats. Because of the huge number of trees within the woodlands and belts of trees, these were not scrutinised individually, however a significant number of these also appeared to be potentially suitable for use by bats. Only one tree showed signs of use by bats, but external signs of use are often very difficult to identify.

Badgers:

5.51 Relatively few conclusive signs of badger activity were noted within the bulk of Stoke Park and these seemed to be more or less limited to the northern and southern ends. A small sett was identified at the south-western end of the Park and information submitted as part of the desk study indicated the presence of a further sett to the south of the survey area boundary. All the setts in the intervening area appeared to be long-disused. Because of the dense nature of the scrub in several locations, an exhaustive search for every entrance hole was not possible. However, it is unlikely that any large setts, or any setts in use by badgers at the time of the survey, would have been missed.

5.52 The majority of Stoke Park appeared to constitute potentially suitable habitat for badgers, but it is likely that the badgers in this area suffer a high degree of incidental disturbance and deliberate persecution.

Overall Site Assessment:

5.53 Taken as a whole, Stoke Park is of significant conservation importance, which is reflected by the designation of the bulk of the site as of County Importance for Nature Conservation. The most valuable habitat features are the woodlands, particularly Long Wood, Hermitage Wood and Barn Wood, and the sloping areas of more species-rich calcareous grassland. The small area of calcareous grassland at Duchess Gate has been found to support one County Notable Plant Species, and several of the mature parkland trees are of intrinsic value.

5.54 The woodlands and mature parkland trees have the potential to be of significant value for certain groups of invertebrates, particularly those dependant on dead wood habitats. The site as a whole is also likely to be of significant local value for birds and bats; the linked nature of the many woodlands and areas of scrub almost certainly add to the value of the site for many of these species.

5.55 There are few wetland features of significant value, but two of the field ponds could contain great crested newts and, as it matures, the value of Duchess Pond should increase. There is further potential to create or renovate ponds within Stoke Park; indeed significant opportunities exist to enhance many of the features described above.

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Archaeological and Historical Features

5.56 The following is a summary of the Archaeological Desk-top Study carried out by Wessex Archaeology in February 1998, appended to this report. Sites and findspots referred to in brackets are shown on Plan 04.

Prehistoric:

5.57 Apart from a Bronze Age flint arrowhead (1) found on Purdown (Grinsell 1969) and some Iron Age strip lynchets (41), south of Ashley Hill Station, there is little indication of any prehistoric occupation of the area.

Romano-British:

5.58 Romano British settlements located in the general vicinity of the site have been identified at Horfield to the west and Stoke Gifford to the north, but there is no similar evidence from within the Stoke Park estate. To the south west of the site, in the grounds of Heath House a supposed Roman well (2) was uncovered, although little information of the structure and its contents exist.

Saxon and Medieval (AD 410 1500):

5.59 Within the site limits medieval remains include pillow mounds (5) and strip lynchets (7). Pillow mounds are artificial rabbit warrens, created to control and farm rabbit populations. Additional pillow mounds within the study area are recorded on aerial photographs to the north of Stoke Park hospital that have since been destroyed (9 and 11). A medieval deerpark (6) is also thought to have existed within Stoke Park from documentary evidence but it has not been located on the ground.

Post medieval (AD 1500 1800):

5.60 Stoke Park (27), lies to the west and south west of the Dower House complex, and was landscaped by Thomas Wright in 1760. Possibly part of this landscaping, a low broad mound (28) adjacent to Lockleaze residential area has been identified sealing deposits containing medieval pottery.

Modern (AD 1800 onwards):

5.61 Datable structural remains attributable to this period within the site include a pair of World War II gun emplacements (37 and 38) on Purdown.

Undated:

5.62 Several features of uncertain date were recorded. Within the site, these include strip lynchets (46), a linear bank originally thought to be a long barrow (42) but now considered more likely to be a post-medieval landscape feature, as well as the site of a cockpit (45) to the south-east of the chapel, as indicated on early 20th century maps.

Potential:

5.63 The references in the gazetteer reflect the known archaeological resource of the area, with all findspots, sites, etc. being recorded within the site and the broader study area.

5.64 Few features or finds of prehistoric or Roman date have been recovered within the study area. For the medieval period, the Saxon/Medieval settlement of Stapleton to the south-east of the site is clearly important. Within Stoke Park, medieval features include the deer park, the hermitage, pillow mounds, strip lynchets and boundary features.

5.65 Most of the known features within the site are of post medieval date. The most significant of these relate to the structures and gardens within the immediate vicinity of the Dower House.

5.66 Apart from the known archaeological sites and findspots within Stoke Park, there is a potential for the survival of, as yet, unidentified archaeological remains, either in the form of single finds, concentrations of cultural material or as more direct settlement evidence.

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Arboriculture

5.67 The following is a summary of the Arboricultural Assessment carried out in February and April 1998 by Alan J Engley.

5.68 Stoke Park includes a number of very prominent woodlands and small copses, some of which contain historic trees of great size and age including Oak, London Plane, Horse Chestnut and Beech. There are several wooded areas that contain very old specimens that are mostly deteriorating or in poor condition with understoreys of coppiced Ash, Horse Chestnut and occasional Sweet Chestnut that are also fully mature or over-mature. Trees designated over-mature (OM) are mostly of historic interest with planting dates that may be part of the original landscaping. The grounds contain numerous individual trees of good merit. The majority of the woodlands are of high landscape value.

5.69 There are numerous well-used rights of way that skirt or are within the woodlands and many trees that are hazardous with some risk to the public. These are within falling distance of paths. Some trees are ‘wind-heaved’ and in precarious hanging condition, including in Hermitage Wood. Most of the deadwood and deteriorating trees would not be considered a high risk to the public because of the limited public access and frequency of use.

Hermitage/Long Wood:

5.70 Hermitage and Long Woods are fairly dense woodlands. Long Wood is on level ground with taller upper storey of Oak and Ash of mostly mature/average/poor condition with occasional poor-deteriorating Beech and some better understorey of mature Yew (particularly in the north and west of the wood). There are numerous self-sown regenerating Ash, occasional Sycamore and many fully mature/over-mature regrown coppice Hazel and over-mature Thorn up to 12-15m in height.

5.71 In the south and east of Hermitage Wood, there are predominantly occasional fully mature regrown coppice Ash with dense understorey of Hazel, fully mature and young crowded Ash self-sown seedlings. There are occasional poor Beech, Horse Chestnut, some coppiced, and Oak. There are a number of ‘wind-heave’ victims along the northern/eastern boundary and several split and dangerously hanging trees.

5.72 In the north and west of Hermitage Wood, there are ancient and large London Plane of impressive dimensions mostly in poor condition, occasional poor over-mature tall Horse Chestnut, over-mature Grey Poplar, Oak and better Yew. Some of the fully mature/over-mature Laurel is tree-like in proportion. Many trees overhang the numerous footpaths running through these woodlands, and overhang the right of way to the north and west of the wood.

Barn Wood:

5.73 Barn Wood is prominent along the skyline and from the M32 with numerous over-mature Horse Chestnut of admirable dimensions, most of which are poor/rapidly deteriorating in condition. Some of the woodland was previously coppiced and includes Horse Chestnut and Ash that has reached full maturity and are mostly structural unsound, although mutually protected. Some of the woodland is on steeply sloping ground leading to the south. There are a number of recent ‘wind-heave’ victims including Lombardy Poplar and branch shedding of Horse Chestnut. Throughout the woods there are occasional fully mature/over-mature Field maple, some of which are unusually fairly tall and Large-Leaved Lime which are fairly prominent with occasional over-mature Native Cherry (Gean). There is dense Holly and Laurel beneath rapidly deteriorating Beech within the northern tip and occasional historic Oak.

Stable Hill:

5.74 A very prominent down-sloping woodland from Dower House towards the M32 containing a row of fairly tall prominent skyline planting of Large-Leaved Lime, two fairly well-formed Redwoods, and a dense lower storey of Laurel and Thorn. The outer row of Lombardy Poplar facing the M32 are all rapidly falling into disrepair with one solitary remaining specimen that is diseased. There are a number of overgrown Laurel and Yew that presumably would have been hedging material previously lining the track-way through the wood leading to Dower House. The trees have become etiolated and drawn. There are occasional fully-mature and reasonable Beech and Lime throughout the woodland with numerous self-sown seedling/suckering regeneration and occasional over-mature historic Oak.

Pale Plantation and Adjoining/Individual Trees and Hedges:

5.75 Pale Plantation is on steeply sloping ground. The surveyed trees within the wood are predominantly over-mature deciduous specimens of Horse Chestnut, Sweet Chestnut, Beech, Ash and Oak that are of impressive dimensions. There is a high incidence of bonfire damage, buttress and stem decay probably due to earlier fire and extraction damage. Many of the individual trees are in poor/deteriorating condition and are becoming hazardous. Major tree surgery works would be necessary to manage the woodland in reasonable order. There are numerous footpaths that are fairly well used throughout the woodland. Individual hedgerows are mostly Elm with a high incidence of Elm disease and over-mature Thorn with occasional over-mature Oak (16m) and over-mature Ash (20m).

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Duchess Gates:

5.76 This consists of a group of over-mature Horse Chestnut and Lime up to 26m of one age-group planting overhanging neighbouring flats, prominently situated and of good landscape merit. The trees are deteriorating and require tree surgery works to manage them in reasonable order. Other nearby trees include prominent Oak, Beech, Horse Chestnut and Lime that are prominent when viewed from the M32.

Pond Field Wood:

5.77 Predominantly tall over-mature Ash, very occasional Oak and tall Field Maple, prominently situated on the down-slope facing the M32 in fairly reasonable condition with occasional ‘wind-heave’ victims.

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6 .0 LANDSCAPE PLANNING CONTEXT

6.1 Stoke Park is covered by a series of planning designations of varying importance. These are listed below for reference and shown on Plan 05.

6.2 Registered Historic Landscape: Stoke Park is on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens as Grade II, although this extends beyond the Consortium ownership at Simms Hill, Duchess Park and Lockleaze.

6.3 Listed Buildings: The following listed buildings are within the Park, excluding the Hospital Site, and are all Grade II:

1 Tunnel connecting Long Wood to Hermitage Wood;

2 Tunnel in Barn Wood;

3 Pool in Barn Wood;

4 Beaufort Monument, Barn Wood;

5 Obelisk on Star Hill;

6 Duchess Gates.

6.4 Scheduled Ancient Monument: The anti-aircraft gun emplacements on Purdown are a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

6.5 Conservation Area: All of Stoke Park within Bristol City is included in the Stapleton and Frome Valley Conservation Area.

6.6 Area of Archaeological Significance: All of Stoke Park, north of the M32 but excluding Simms Hill, is covered by this designation.

6.7 Site of Nature Conservation Interest: Much of the park is covered by a County Site of Nature Conservation Interest, while most of the park within Bristol is covered by a City Wide Site of Nature Conservation Interest.

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7 .0 MANAGEMENT PROPOSALS

7.1 Up till now, the only comprehensive plan for the landscape at Stoke Park has been the LUC report of 1991 which attempted to reconcile the need for restoration against the irreversible changes to the historic landscape such as the construction of the M32 and the development of the hospital site. The Consortium has control over most but not all of the landscape considered by LUC and has to prioritise works to ensure that resources are used most effectively.

7.2 The management proposals are considered using the same character areas as before, but have been modified from the LUC proposals to take account of changed circumstances and priorities. This includes considering the implications of the additional studies commissioned for this management plan.

7.3 The areas concerned are shown on the Landscape Management Plan (Plan 06), and the work summarised and broadly programmed in the Outline Management Regime in Appendix B.

Hospital Site

7.4 This management plan deals with the Barn Wood Valley and Stable Hill areas of the Hospital Site; the remainder is dealt with separately under the development proposals for the Hospital Site.

Barn Wood Valley:

7.5 This area will be restored to the park by removal of the fencing and scrub that currently separates the valley from the park and by reinstating grazing, so the park sweeps up between Barn Wood and the Dower House. Scrub will be cleared from the edge of Barn Wood and from the slopes below the Dower House plateau. Elm scrub should be felled and the stumps killed, and the sycamore thinned to a 10 year programme and interplanted with beech and the planting maintained to prevent further regeneration of sycamore.

7.6 Trees on the slopes immediately below the Dower House plateau will be retained and supplemented with further woodland planting to reinstate Wright=s planting associated with the estate offices.

7.7 The belt of Lombardy Poplars and balsam in the upper part of the valley should be cleared immediately as they are unsafe. Some existing young trees should be allowed to develop as parkland trees. Additional woodland planting towards the head of the valley will draw the eye around the north-eastern corner of Barn Wood, minimising views into the development site.

7.8 The coach drive from the park will be repaired to form a pedestrian and cycle link to the hospital site, reinforcing the restoration of the valley to the park. The drive would be surfaced with gravel, but not lit.

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Stable Hill:

7.9 LUC showed a significant part of this area restored to the park, with scrub clearance as far back as the orangery/chapel. We propose clearance to about half-way between the Dower House and the orangery/chapel, with the bank behind the ruined cottage forming the northern edge of the park. The shrubs along the bank will be trimmed and replanted to reinforce the boundary. Sycamore would be thinned and elm removed from the woodland to the north and along the Stoke Lane boundary and tree surgery carried out to those historic trees worthy of retention. New woodland would be planted to provide a woodland open space related to the proposed development, and sufficient would remain to provide separation between the housing development and the park.

7.10 Parkland would again sweep up the steep slopes to the retaining wall and the Dower House above, with selected trees remaining from the clearance in the new parkland.

7.11 The existing bank that currently separates the open area south of the ruined cottage from the park, will be removed so the open area is further integrated into the park.

7.12 The existing drive that sweeps down from the hospital site through Stable Hill will be reintroduced as a link from the setting of the Dower House to this corner of the park, which is currently quite remote.

Barn Wood

7.13 The area of Barn Wood from roughly the site of the Barn eastwards, is fundamentally the result of 18th century planting of exotics, while the western section is ancient woodland, formerly traditionally coppiced and of nature conservation value. It is proposed to manage the eastern part predominantly as a designed landscape, whilst the western half should be managed principally for nature conservation reasons.

7.14 In line with LUC’s proposals, one of the earliest operations would be the removal of the dumped material in the vicinity of the public footpath, but additional tree surgery should be carried out to those trees that require work for reasons of public safety.

7.15 Fencing should be carried out to prevent further damage by livestock and to control pedestrian access to particular paths, with pedestrian gates at access points. The fencing should be aligned to allow the park to come up to the designed boundary of the wood, with intervening scrub cleared.

7.16 The public right of way through Barn Wood will be improved by the provision of new surfacing, new steps and a stile to prevent livestock access from the park, but a stile will not be needed at the northern end of the park. New fencing and gates will be needed either side of the path to direct access to the woods via the footpath system.

7.17 Reinstatement of Wrights footpath system through the wood would have several benefits:

1 restoration of an important element of the designed landscape with the opportunity to recreate views;

2 increased public access to the woods by the provision of a safe circulation system;

3 direction of public access so minimising damage to areas of nature conservation interest.

7.18 Paths would be levelled and cleared, and surfaced with chippings produced from clearance and thinning operations. The Saloon of Oaks and its adjoining rides would be cleared of scrub below the site of the Rotunda, and then grassed and the adjoining Laurel cut back to reflect the original shape.

7.19 A number of trees within the wood will need to be felled because they are unsafe, including some of Wrights original plantings, and many will need tree surgery; these are concentrated in the areas suitable for management as a designed landscape. If individual trees are removed and replaced with new trees in the same position, then the new trees are likely to be drawn up by the heavy canopy or damaged when adjacent trees are felled. Alternatively, replanting in a position that is adjacent but clear of the existing canopy would dilute the historical value of the planting. Instead, replacement planting will occur only when sufficient trees can be felled in a given area to provide sufficient space to allow the new trees to develop successfully. This will be especially important in the vicinity of the Beaufort Monument, the former Barn Yard, and the Saloon of Oaks. It is proposed to generally replant with forest transplants except where individual trees are of particular significance such as at the Saloon of Oaks when larger specimens are used.

7.20 Management of the woods will include control of Sycamore and Elm throughout the wood. Where the woodland is to be managed principally for nature conservation reasons, the coppicing regime of ash and hazel should be reintroduced on a 10 to 15 year cycle in several non-continuous coupes no larger than 0.2ha (0.5 acre) at a time. Where suckering elm is present, it should be cut back and killed. To regenerate the hazel, existing stems should be layered to encourage rooting. Dead wood habitats, where safe, should be retained.

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7.21 Of the existing built structures within the wood, the following works should be carried out as a priority:

The Tunnel:

1 fencing off the structure for public safety and to reduce vandalism;

2 trees rooted in the structure to be cut back and killed;

3 methods to be devised for preventing further collapse of the structure.

Beaufort Monument:

i fencing to prevent further vandalism.

The Cottage:

i of little merit and not listed, so clearance of undergrowth and limited stabilisation are appropriate combined with fencing for public safety.

The Pond:

i fencing;

ii removal of undergrowth and trees affecting the structure;

iii minor repairs to the stonework.

7.22 In lieu of the normal statutory obligation to merely keep the listed structures under repair, the Consortium will agree a three year programme of works to include the restoration of the Barn Wood Tunnel, the Hermitage/Long Wood Tunnel and the pond in Barn Wood, subject to the necessary consents. After this three year period, the Consortium will execute ongoing routine maintenance works to these structures.

Hermitage and Long Wood:

7.23 These ancient woods are of significant ecological value, although their management has been neglected, and apart from some large trees, signs of the eighteenth century design are largely lost.

7.24 Fencing will limit access to the woods and direct the public along particular routes, and gates should be provided to allow access by pedestrians, but prevent access by motorcycles. Service access will be required.

7.25 LUC suggested eventually reinstating the whole of Wright’s original footpath and Saloon system within the woods, but the intricate network would not be compatible with the nature conservation value of the woods. Instead, it is proposed that LUC’s second phase of path restoration is followed with minor elements of the third stage to ensure a reasonable but controlled access to the wood, directed by gates, brush-wood fences and surfacing. The Saloons are largely elm, sycamore and laurel scrub which would need controlling. By clearing the Saloons and grassing them again, the spread of non-native species into the adjoining ancient woodland would be prevented, but important historic features would be reintroduced along with improved public access. Paths should be cleared to up to 5m wide to allow grass to grow, but will have to be carefully set out to avoid compromising nature conservation interests.

7.26 The lines of paths may have to be an approximation of LUC’s proposals, as it would not be tenable to clear areas of woodland that have developed of conservation interest, especially when an existing footpath exists nearby.

7.27 It is proposed to replant the missing plant and holm oak trees in the Great Saloon when this area is cleared and replant the evergreens in Bladduds cell, but it is not appropriate to reintroduce Wright’s ‘gardened wood’ to the extent proposed by LUC within Ancient Woodlands.

7.28 A coppicing regime similar to that proposed for Barn Wood should be introduced.

7.29 The tunnel between the two woods will be inspected and fenced or protected should the masonry be loose and to protect it from vandalism.

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House Park

7.30 Since the LUC Report, the House Park has been subject to damage by motorcycles and the grazing regime has recently been suspended. When the Consortium have secured a tenant to reintroduce grazing, the grassland can be subject to a regime where initially over two seasons cattle graze off the coarse grasses that have become established. After this, only sheep will graze the area to produce a close turf to help conserve the calcareous grassland. The presence of stock and their supervision may act as a deterrent to motorcyclists and the Consortium will continue to work with the police and adjacent landowners to implement reasonable measures to prevent illegal entry to the park.

7.31 Fencing for agricultural reasons will be kept to a minimum to maintain the open character of the park but to accord with reasonable agricultural practice. It is hoped that it will only be necessary to reinstate the boundaries shown on our management plan drawing.

7.32 Clearance of scrub that is changing the character of the park, obscuring the dramatic landform and encroaching on the calcareous grassland is a priority. However, it has been established for so long that it has become a familiar feature to local residents and large scale removal will be controversial. Additionally, it is providing links of nature conservation value between the woodlands along the edge of the scarp slope, so that Barn Wood and Pale Plantation are now physically linked by scrub and Pond Field Wood is becoming increasingly so. All are linked by an existing hedgerow from which much of the scrub has developed.

7.33 It is proposed to clear all of the scrub from Star Hill, the edge of Barn Wood and the slopes below the Dower House and from within the House Park. However, the clearance from the link between Barn Wood and Pale Plantation will be limited to the area shown to continue to provide the wooded backdrop to the park, with some screening of views of the skyline housing at Lockleaze.

7.34 Where the scrub is cleared, young trees of potential as parkland trees will be retained and protected. The calcareous grassland will be reinstated by protecting and scarifying areas of scrub clearance, increasing the nature conservation value of the slopes.

7.35 The fencing should be removed from around Duchess Pond and the grazing regime reintroduced right up to the waters edge. In order to satisfy current best drainage practice, and to provide a safer feature, the opportunity may arise to reprofile the pond with more gentle slopes and recontour part of the filled area to the north-east to accommodate storm water, which will have the potential to reinstate the valley landform.

7.36 The reprofiled slopes will allow a greater variety of aquatic and semi-aquatic habitats, increasing the nature conservation value of the Pond.

7.37 The plantation at the eastern end of the Duchess Pond will be replaced with a properly implemented and maintained plantation, fenced from grazing animals.

7.38 There is also potential to carry out subtle ground-modelling between the Dower House and the M32 to provide some visual mitigation to this part of the park and to avoid extensive off-site spoil disposal associated with the housing development and works to the Duchess Pond. This will be the subject of a separate planning application to Bristol City Council, and will take account of the important views from Frenchay Park Road across Duchess Park and the M32 to the Dower House on its bluff.

7.39 Clumps of parkland trees will be established by fenced plantations of transplants on the ground modelling, designed to integrate the feature rather than emphasise it.

7.40 Pale Plantation should be fenced to restrict access, and LUC’s simple footpath system implemented. The planting regime should reflect this woodlands origin as a designed landscape, and should be carried out with transplants within the undergrowth to prevent drawing attention to them, reducing potential vandalism.

7.41 Pond Field Wood should be fenced to encourage regeneration, with management to include coppicing to the neglected ash. It should be managed for nature conservation.

7.42 The obelisk will be fenced and secured from public access. As with the structures in Barn Wood, the Consortium will carry out ongoing routine maintenance of the existing structure. The Consortium will also seek to identify a suitable trust or similar organisation who would be prepared to fund, or seek funding for, the restoration of the Obelisk.

7.43 The area at Duchess Gate, isolated from the House Park by the M32, will need urgent tree surgery to some trees as it is one of the principal pedestrian accesses to the park. Consideration will be given to re-establishing a grazing regime, although cattle grids or fencing within the Duchess Gates will be required. A block of planting should be introduced to reduce the impact of the view of the M32 underpass from Duchess Gates, but this will not be effective closer to the underpass.

7.44 Clearance of elm and some scrub clearance will be necessary, as well as management of the young oak woodland, next to the adjacent blocks of flats.

7.45 The drive has been roughly surfaced with road sub-base, and will need surfacing with gravel to provide a suitable surface for walking and cycling. This will be extended along the coach drive beyond the M32, up through House Park to Barn Wood Valley.

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Purdown

7.46 Although historically part of the Stoke Park landscape, Purdown has few of the features or little of the quality associated with the rest of the Stoke Park landscape. It has retained its open character and dramatic views over Bristol and the House Park. Developing scrub is beginning to obscure these views especially between Pale Plantation and Barn Wood. The landscape is compromised by wide views over development at Lockleaze, the dominance of the repeater station and the anti-aircraft emplacements.

7.47 Insufficient elements remain of Wright’s landscape to devote significant resources to the historic restoration of Purdown. It should continue to provide open space and extensive, elevated views in its present form.

7.48 As part of good management, unsightly fences should be replaced as resources allow and grazing and taking a hay crop should be reintroduced. Stiles should be replaced and improvements carried out to the footpaths, especially those on steep ground. Where they exist, hedges should be managed.

7.49 As proposed by LUC, the scrub on the steep slope by the M32, shown as New Wood, should be used as the basis for woodland development by fencing it off from stock, carrying out management, encouraging regeneration and replanting. However, we propose that it is not totally coppiced and replanted, but a cycle of selective clearance of parcels of thorn within the scrub should be carried out, with new planting of a woodland mix more appropriate to the ancient woodlands within the park. The new planting will be protected from vandalism and sheltered by the scrub, and would be of both landscape and nature conservation benefit.

7.50 We have also shown some removal of the fence between the Consortium ownership and the Lockleaze Open Space, and the establishment of a ridge top walk between New Wood and Long Wood by mowing shorter grass across Purdown, taking advantage of the long views.

7.51 Scrub clearance from House Park will continue beyond the hedgerow at the top of the scarp, with retention of young trees to develop into parkland trees. The hedge line would be restored and relaid.

7.52 The Consortium will develop a strategy with the local authority for the management of the anti-aircraft gun emplacement, based on the approach followed in other local authorities for similar ancient monuments with particular regard to public safety.

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8 .0 ACHIEVEMENT OF OBJECTIVES

8.1 In summary, the following considers how successfully the management proposals achieve the objectives set out in part 4.0 of this report.

Secure the long-term future of the landscape:

8.2 By their nature, designed landscapes eventually deteriorate and need management and renewal. This management plan proposes management techniques that ensure the long-term future of the landscape by:

1 reintroducing grazing;

2 fencing and managing the woodlands;

3 controlling scrub;

4 introducing a programme of tree planting.

Retain, and where feasible, restore features of the historic landscape:

8.3 This management plan does not propose the removal of any features of significant historical value. Where such features exist, they are to be retained and, in the case of the historic structures, stabilised. It is not proposed to rebuild structures, but it is proposed to replant and clear some of the Saloons, restore some of the paths, clear most of the scrub from the House Park, restore the old carriage drives and return Barn Wood Valley and part of Stable Hill to the park.

8.4 In lieu of the normal statutory obligation to merely keep the listed structures under repair, the Consortium will agree a three year programme of works to include the restoration of the Barn Wood Tunnel, the Hermitage/Long Wood Tunnel and the pond in Barn Wood, subject to the necessary consents, and will fund such works up to a maximum expenditure of ,75,000. After this three year period, the Consortium will execute ongoing routine maintenance works to these structures. The Consortium will also seek to identify a suitable trust or similar organisation who would be prepared to fund, or seek funding for, the restoration of the Obelisk.

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Maintain and enhance Nature Conservation Value

8.5 Although the ecological report raises concern over the full restoration proposals advocated by the LUC Report, this management plan ensures that important nature conservation features are not compromised. Consequently:

1 the full pattern of paths will not be reinstated in Long and Hermitage Woods;

2 restoration of the Saloons will ensure control of exotic species;

3 scrub will be removed from the calcareous grassland, and the grassland restored;

4 much of the scrub based on the hedgeline linking Barn Wood and Pale Plantation will be retained;

5 the woods will be managed principally for nature conservation;

6 New Wood will be recreated as an additional nature conservation benefit;

7 reprofiling of the banks of Duchess Pond will increase its value.

8.6 Further targeted studies will be commissioned as the need arises.

Improve Public Access

8.7 Although the public effectively have uncontrolled access to much of Stoke Park, most of the paths in the woodlands are inaccessible and the public rights of way are poorly signed and have badly constructed and maintained stiles.

8.8 Some of Wright’s footpath system will be recreated within the woods and the public paths will be improved. The old carriage drives will be brought back into use down Barn Wood Valley, and suitably resurfaced in gravel for cycle and pedestrian use.

Ensure the safety of the public using the area

8.9 There are six main elements to ensure safety:

1 work to trees that are unsafe;

2 removal of tipped material in Barn Wood;

3 safe surfacing and maintenance of paths;

4 well maintained boundaries;

5 fencing and stabilising of unsafe structures;

6 regrading of the banks of the Duchess Pond.

8.10 All these elements are included in this plan.

Retain features of archaeological significance

8.11 There are no proposals in this management plan to remove any features of archaeological significance, and where necessary, further archaeological investigations will be carried out before or during works in the park.

8.12 The Consortium will prepare a photographic record of the current state of earthworks and a strategy for archaeological recording or protection of any areas threatened with ground disturbance during the works proposed in the Management Plan. The archive will be deposited with Bristol Museum.

8.13 The Consortium has carried out a photographic and drawn record of the listed structures within the Park, except for the Duchess Gates which have only recently been restored. The archive will be deposited with Bristol Museum.

APPENDIX B: OUTLINE MANAGEMENT REGIME

OUTLINE MANAGEMENT REGIME

to be read in conjunction with Plan 06

Short Term Medium Term Long Term
0 to 5 years 5 to 10 years 10 years onwards
1.0 HOSPITAL SITE
1.1 Fencing:
i Remove old fence and scrub separating Barn Wood Valley and park U
1.2 Paths:
i Reinstate as path/cycleway carriage drive down Barn Wood U
ii Restore drive in Stable Hill U
iii Improve public paths and stiles U
1.3 Tree clearance and management:
i Priority tree surgery U
ii Scrub clearance U
iii Tree clearance Killing stumps and thinning” U
1.4 Grassland management:
i Reintroduce grazing U U U
ii Restore grassland to areas of scrub clearance U
1.5 Planting:
i Woodland planting in Barn Wood Valley and Stable Hill U
1.6 Management:
i Ongoing maintenance to all elements U U U
1.7 Review of management against targets for reprioritisation U U U
2.0 BARN WOOD
2.1 Clearance:
i Removal of tipped material U
2.2 Fencing:
i Remove old boundary fence U
ii New boundary fence and gates U
2.3 Paths:
i Relevelling surface with woodchip U
ii Laying grass to Rotunda saloon and five paths U
2.4 Tree clearance and management:
i Priority tree surgery U
ii Scrub clearance U
“iii Tree clearance Killing stumps and thinning” U U
iv Coppicing U U U
2.5 Planting:
i Planting trees in spaces cleared and to replace historic trees U U U
ii Laying of Hazel to provide regrowth U U
iii Replant oak standards throughout coppice U U
2.6 Structures:
i Protect and stabilise structures. Agree a three year programme of works to include restoration of the tunnel and the pond U
2.7 Management:
i Ongoing maintenance to all elements U U U
2.8 Review of management against targets for reprioritisation U U U
3.0 HERMITAGE AND LONG WOOD
3.1 Fencing: U
i Remove old fence
ii Provide new fence and gates U
3.2 Paths:
i Clear visitor paths Including saloons and linking paths” U U
ii Grass new saloons and paths U U
3.3 Planting:
i Plant planes and holm oak on Great Saloon U
ii Replant beeches on west side of Hermitage Wood U
3.4 Management:
i Priority tree surgery U
ii Coppice woodland in 10 to 15 year cycles U U U
iii Ongoing maintenance U U U
3.5 Structures:
i Protect and stabilise structures. Agree a three year programme of works to include restoration of the Hermitage/Long Wood Tunnel U
3.6 Review of management against targets for reprioritisation U U U
4.0 HOUSE PARK
4.1 Fencing and hedging:
i Remove fences from within park U
ii Reinstate thorn hedges U
iii New fences and gates around Pale Plantation and Pond Field Wood U
4.2 Grassland management:
i Reintroduce grazing U U U
4.3 Paths:
i Level and build-up paths in Pale Plantation U
ii Reinstate carriage drive U
iii Improve public paths and stiles U
4.4 Clearance:
i Removal of scrub U
4.5 Planting:
i Planting clumps in House Park with forest transplants and stock proof fence U
ii Planting adjacent to Duchess Gate with transplants U
iii Planting in Pale Plantation U
4.6 Duchess Pond:
i Regrade banks and recontour U
ii Manage aquatic and semi-aquatic vegetation U U U
4.7 Ground modelling:
i Construct bunds along M32 U
4.8 Structures:
i Agree a three year programme of works to protect and stabilise the Obelisk; seek to identify a suitable organisation prepared to seek funding for the restoration of the Obelisk. U
4.9 Management:
i Priority tree surgery U
ii Ongoing maintenance U U U
4.10 Review of management against targets for reprioritisation U U U
5.0 PURDOWN
5.1 Grassland management:
i Reintroduce grazing and taking hay crop U U U
5.2 Clearance:
i Thorn and bramble selectively cleared and stumps killed U
5.3 Planting:
i Woodland Planting of New Wood U
5.4 Paths:
i Mow new ridge edge path U
ii Improve public paths and stiles U
5.5 Review of management against targets for reprioritisation U U U

 

APPENDIX C:

OUTLINE MANAGEMENT REGIME: FIRST THREE YEARS PRIORITY WORKS PROGRAMME

Explanatory notes:

9 .0 These priority works have been selected based on the following criteria:

1 public safety – e.g. tree surgery;

2 protection of vulnerable features to prevent further deterioration eg. fencing woodlands from livestock;

3 satisfying a function related to the housing development on the hospital site eg. cyclepath/footpath link along carriage drive down Barn Wood valley.

10 .0 Tree surgery is found in a separate list appended to this document.

11 .0 The priority works are based on the Outline Management Plan, Revision A, May 1998.

12 .0 The priority works to structures are only the initial stabilisation works agreed with the local authority as a first stage of work.

 

 OUTLINE MANAGEMENT REGIME

FIRST THREE YEARS PRIORITY WORKS PROGRAMME (REVISED APRIL 2000)

to be read in conjunction with Plan 06

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Subsequent Years Comments
1.0 BARN WOOD VALLEY AND STABLE HILL
1.1 Fencing:
i Remove old fence and Scrub separating Barn Wood valley and park U
1.2 Paths:
i Reinstate as path/cycleway carriage drive down Barn Wood valley U
ii Restore drive in Stable Hill U
iii Improve public paths and stiles U
1.3 Tree clearance and management:
i Priority tree surgery U
ii Scrub clearance Ua Ub
a) Barn Wood Valley
b) Stable Hill
“iii Tree clearance killing stumps and thinning” U
iv Scrub and dead elm clearance south-west of Dower House U
1.4 Grassland management:
i Reintroduce grazing to Ua Ub
a) Barn Wood
b) part of Stable Hill
ii Restore grassland to areas of Scrub clearance U
1.5 Planting:
i Woodland Planting to Ua + b Uc a) Associated with swale construction
a) Barn Wood valley
b) South-west of Dower House
c) Stable Hill
1.6 Archaeology:
i Prepare and submit a photographic record of the current state of earthworks and a strategy for archaeological
Recording or protection of any areas threatened with ground disturbance during the works proposed U U U U
1.7 Management:
i Ongoing maintenance to all elements U U U U
2.0 BARN WOOD
2.1 Clearance: Barn Wood to be brought into management early as is close to development and readily
Accessible
i Removal of tipped material U
2.2 Fencing:
i Remove old boundary fence U
“ii New boundary fence Gates and stiles” U
2.3 Paths:
i Re-levelling surface with woodchip U
ii Laying grass to Rotunda saloon and five paths U
2.4 Tree clearance and management:
i Priority tree surgery U
ii Scrub clearance U
“iii Tree clearance Killing stumps and thinning” U
iv Coppicing U U Say 10% of total; rolling programme beyond Year 3 for remaining woods.
2.5 Planting:
i Planting trees in spaces cleared and to replace historic trees U
ii Laying of Hazel to provide regrowth U U
iii Replant oak standards throughout coppice U
2.6 Structures: “Agree a 3 year programme of works to include restoration of the tunnel and the pond
Subject to the necessary consents”
i Protect and stabilise structures U U
2.7 Archaeology:
i Prepare and submit a photographic record of the current state of earthworks and a strategy for archaeological
Recording or protection of any areas threatened with ground disturbance during the works proposed U U U U
ii Agree a 3 year programme of works to include restoration of the tunnel and the pond U U U
2.8 Management:
i Ongoing maintenance to all elements U U U U
3.0 HERMITAGE AND LONG WOOD
3.1 Fencing:
i Remove old fence U Timing depends on programme of development.
“ii Provide new fence Gates and stiles” U
3.2 Paths:
“i clear visitor paths Including saloons and linking paths” U
ii Grass new saloons and paths U
3.3 Planting:
i Plant planes and holm oak in Great Saloon U
ii Replant beech on west side of Hermitage Wood U
3.4 Structures:
i Protect and stabilise structures U
ii Agree a three year programme of works to include restoration of the tunnel U U U
3.5 Archaeology:
i Prepare and submit a photographic record of the current state of earthworks and a strategy for archaeological
Recording or protection of any areas threatened with ground disturbance during the works proposed U U U U
3.6 Management:
i Priority tree surgery U
ii Coppice woodland in 10 to 15 year cycles U U Say 10% of total; rolling programme beyond Year 3 for remaining
Woods.
iii Ongoing maintenance U U
4.0 HOUSE PARK
4.1 Fencing and hedging:
i Remove fences from within park U Liaise with agricultural tenant
ii Reinstate thorn hedges U
iii New fences and gates around Pale Plantation and Pond Field Wood U
4.2 Grassland management:
i Reintroduce grazing U
ii Restore grassland to areas of Scrub clearance U U
4.3 Paths:
i Level and build-up paths in Pale Plantation U
ii Reinstate carriage drive U
iii Improve public paths and stiles U
4.4 Clearance:
i Removal of Scrub U U “50% in Year 2 including Scrub on slopes to Dower House”
“ii Removal of burnt out cars Motorbikes Concrete sleepers etc” U
4.5 Planting:
i Planting clumps in House Park with forest transplants and stock proof fence U
ii Planting adjacent to Duchess Gate with transplants U
iii Planting in Pale Plantation U
4.6 Duchess Pond:
i Regrade banks and recontour U Only possible if part of drainage proposals
ii Manage aquatic and semi-aquatic vegetation U
iii New plantations U Associated with first flush wetland
iv Construct swale and first flush wetland U
4.7 Duchess Gate:
i Signs and prevention of motorbike access U
ii Manage grassland U
iii Resolve drainage U
4.8 Structures:
i Protect and stabilise structures U
ii Seek to identify a suitable organisation Prepared to fund or seek funding for restoration of the Obelisk U U U
4.9 Archaeology:
i Prepare and submit a photographic record of the current state of earthworks and a strategy for archaeological
Recording or protection of any areas threatened with ground disturbance during the works proposed U U U U
4.10 Management:
i Priority tree surgery U
ii Ongoing maintenance U U U
5.0 PURDOWN
5.1 Grassland management:
i Reintroduce grazing and taking hay crop U
ii Restore grassland to areas of Scrub clearance U
5.2 Clearance:
i Thorn and bramble selectively cleared and stumps killed U
ii Removal of burnt out cars and motorbikes etc U
5.3 Planting:
i Woodland Planting of New Wood U
5.4 Paths:
i Mow new ridge edge path U U U Assumed cut twice yearly
ii Improve public paths and stiles U
5.5 Management:
i Ongoing maintenance U U U
5.6 Fencing:
i Prevention of motorbike access U
ii Signs U

 

APPENDIX D:

ARBORICULTURAL WORKS: FIRST PRIORITY LIST

Trees in this list satisfy the following criteria:

13 . Identified as having priority works recommended/safety assessment required.

14 . Near to areas to which the public has access including public rights of way and non-statutory paths.

15 . In need of tree surgery for reasons of safety.

16 . Are not in Hospital site where strategy for tree retention will be covered by development proposals. This includes the area of Stable Hill proposed as gardens and grounds of adjacent dwellings.

17 . Are in both the registered historic landscape and Consortium ownership.

Notes:

i This assessment is provided for background information only. Drawings identifying the trees are found in the separate >Report on an Arboricultural Assessment at Stoke Park, Bristol= (Alan J Engley, February 1998).

ii Some trees require additional investigation before the extent of arboricultural work can be confirmed.

iii Further works have been identified to trees that are not on the priority lists.

 

STOKE PARK – ARBORICULTURAL WORKS

First Priority List: Trees requiring priority works recommended/safety assessment required

TREE NO. TREE SPECIES LOCATION RECOMMENDED WORKS
1 Horse chestnut Hermitage/Long Wood Probe weak forks. Fit cable braces. Reduce weight of heavy laterals
44 Beech Hermitage/Long Wood Remove hanging
48 Evergreen oak Hermitage/Long Wood Make safe. Reduce weight
56 Horse chestnut Hermitage/Long Wood Fell
77 Beech Hermitage/Long Wood Fell
95 Beech Hermitage/Long Wood Fell
G509 Ash Hermitage/Long Wood Fell ‘hung-up’ specimen
197 Beech Barn Wood Tree surgery. Reduce to 6m
201 Beech Barn Wood Fell
204 Sycamore Barn Wood Reduce weight lean side
205 Beech Barn Wood Fell
206 Beech Barn Wood Fell at 3m
209 Beech Barn Wood Fell
216 Evergreen oak Barn Wood Tree surgery
218 Horse chestnut Barn Wood Tree surgery
219 Horse chestnut Barn Wood Tree surgery
223 Horse chestnut Barn Wood Tree surgery
225 Horse chestnut Barn Wood “Safety inspection – if retained  reduce to 14m”
228 Horse chestnut Barn Wood Tree surgery
229 Horse chestnut Barn Wood Tree surgery
230 Horse chestnut Barn Wood Tree surgery
231 Horse chestnut Barn Wood Tree surgery. Reduce a
233 Horse chestnut Barn Wood Tree surgery
236 Horse chestnut Barn Wood Tree surgery
240 Horse chestnut Barn Wood Tree surgery
242 Poplar Barn Wood Fell
252 Ash Barn Wood Tree surgery
265 Large leaved lime Barn Wood Fell
270 Horse chestnut Barn Wood Remove hanging branches
271 Horse chestnut Barn Wood Reduce weight of crown 25%
278 Beech Barn Wood Probe decay point. Access safety. Crown thin 20%
282 Horse chestnut Barn Wood Tree surgery
283 Horse chestnut Barn Wood Tree surgery
285 Hornbeam Barn Wood Tree surgery
287 Horse chestnut Barn Wood Tree surgery
297 Large leaved lime Dower House Garden (Stable Hill) Tree surgery
300 Large leaved lime Dower House Garden (Stable Hill) Tree surgery
545 Lombardy poplar Dower House Garden/Stable Garden Fell
378 Beech Pale Plantation Fell
381 Horse chestnut Pale Plantation Safety inspection. Tree surgery
386 Beech Pale Plantation Fell
388 Ash Pale Plantation Fell
398 Horse chestnut Pale Plantation Fell
399 Ash Pale Plantation Fell
410 Horse chestnut Pale Plantation Tree safety inspection. Reduce weight of heavy laterals by 20%
411 Horse chestnut Pale Plantation Fell
414 Beech Pale Plantation Fell
422 Ash Pale Plantation Fell
426 Horse chestnut Pale Plantation Fell
432 Ash Plan 5 Safety inspection. Tree surgery
450 Beech Duchess Gates Safety inspection. Tree surgery
451 Horse chestnut Duchess Gates Tree surgery
452 Horse chestnut Duchess Gates Tree surgery
453 Horse chestnut Duchess Gates Tree surgery
456 European lime Duchess Gates Tree surgery
457 European lime Duchess Gates Tree surgery
544 “Mix – field maple
horse chestnut elm”
House Garden/Stable Hill Tree surgery for safety
Elm – fell
551 Mix – Lombardy poplar/balsam Valley area west of Dower House Fell diseased/leaning specimens

 

APPENDIX E:

GRANT FUNDING

18 .0 INTRODUCTION

18.1 A number of grants are available towards financing landscape works and landscape management. These grant schemes are administered by a range of public authorities. Each grant scheme is characterised by specific aims and objectives and consequently the criteria for eligibility for inclusion within the schemes are varied.

18.2 The purpose of this briefing note is to summarise each of the main grant schemes and then consider them in terms of the likely eligibility of Stoke Park. These are viewed in the context of the Outline Management Plan, May 1998 prepared by Cooper Partnership.

18.3 The principle grant schemes and the relevant authorities are as follows:

The Countryside Stewardship Scheme – The Farming and Rural Conservation Agency (FRCA), part of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF);

The Woodland Grant – Forestry Authority;

Heritage Lottery Fund – HLF;

English Heritage Gardens Grant Scheme – English Heritage.

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19 .0 COUNTRYSIDE STEWARDSHIP

19.1 Countryside Stewardship is a MAFF grant scheme which makes payment to land managers and farmers to improve the natural beauty and diversity of the countryside.

19.2 Countryside Stewardship has the following objectives:

1 sustain the beauty and diversity of the landscape;

2 improve and extend wildlife habitats;

3 conserve archaeological sites and historic features;

4 restore neglected land or features;

5 create new habitats and landscape.

19.3 The scheme also identifies regional priorities and objectives through a county specific targeting statement.

Conditions

19.4 The scheme is open to owners or managers of land. The applicant must have the ability to enter into a 10 year agreement controlling the management of the land. Furthermore, the land must not be subject to management conditions in place through other grant schemes or legal requirements. Works required by law, agreement or as a condition of planning permission will not be eligible.

19.5 The scheme identifies eligible landscape types and features which include:

1 old meadows and pastures;

2 historic features (parklands, buildings);

3 community forest and urban fringe;

4 new access.

Eligible works

19.6 Eligible items of work are listed and categorised as five types:

1 annual management items;

2 supplements;

3 access items;

4 capital items;

5 special projects.

19.7 Codes and rates for each available item are listed within Annex A of the application pack. The list is extensive, covering a wide range of operations.

19.8 Restoration of designed parkland and historic landscapes require an approved, detailed restoration management plan.

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20.0 WOODLAND GRANT SCHEME

20.1 The Woodland Grant Scheme is administered by the Forestry Authority, providing incentives for the creation and management of woodlands.

20.2 Woodland Grant Scheme has the following aims:

1 to encourage people to create new woodlands and forests to:

1 increase the production of wood;

2 improve the landscape;

3 provide new habitats for wildlife;

4 offer opportunities for recreation and sport;

2 to encourage good management of forests and woodlands;

3 to provide jobs and improve the economy of rural areas;

4 to provide a use for land instead of agriculture.

20.3 Grants are paid to help with the creation of new woodlands and to encourage the good management and regeneration of existing woodlands.

Conditions

20.4 The scheme is open to owners and leaseholders (with their owners permission) of land. Eligible woodland must be at least 0.25 hectares in area and 15m in width.

20.5 Woodland will not be eligible if it is receiving grants from another source for the same work.

20.6 The Woodland Grant Scheme provides two types of funding:

1 grants for new woodlands;

2 grants for existing woodlands.

Eligible works

Grants for new woodlands

20.7 They are paid to encourage creation of new woodlands. The grants are paid in two instalments, 70% when planting is finished and 30% after five years. The new woodland must be maintained to a reasonable standard for 10 years.

20.8 Grants for new woodland are calculated at the following rates (1998 rates):

1 broadleaved woodland up to 10 hectare size – ,1,350 per hectare;

2 broadleaved woodland greater than 10 hectares – ,1,050 per hectare;

3 within broadleaved woodlands, 20% maximum open land and 10% maximum shrub species are allowed, where appropriate to their size and structure.

20.9 Depending on the design and ultimate usage of the new woodland planting, it may be eligible for supplementary grants.

20.10 A community woodland supplement (CWS) is available for the creation of new woodlands close to towns and cities. This supplement is of the value of ,950 per year per hectare.

Grants for existing woodlands

20.11 They are available for the management and improvement of woodlands and include natural regeneration grants, annual management grants and woodland improvement grants.

20.12 The woodland improvement grant scheme provides funding for three types of projects:

1 project 1 – providing public recreation in woodlands;

2 project 2 – under managed woodlands;

3 project 3 – woodland biodiversity.

20.13 Woodland improvement grants are offered as a discretionary payment based on 50% of the agreed cost of the work.

20.14 Annual management grants at the rate of ,35 per year per hectare may be offered to works which do one or more of the following:

1 safeguard or enhance the existing special environment value of a wood;

2 improve woodlands which are below current environmental standards;

3 create, maintain or enhance public access to woodlands.

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21 .0 HERITAGE LOTTERY FUND

21.1 The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) uses money raised by the national lottery. The aim of the HLF is to be improve the quality of life by:

1 safeguarding and enhancing the heritage of buildings, objects and the environment, whether manmade or natural, which have been important in the formation of the character and identity of the United Kingdom;

2 assisting people to appreciate and enjoy their heritage;

3 handing on the features in good heart to future generations.

21.2 The HLF is administered by the trustees of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and funds a wide range of project types including:

1 natural habitats and countryside of local, regional or national importance;

2 urban green spaces, including parks;

3 archaeological projects;

4 historic buildings and sites, including townscapes.

Conditions

21.3 The HLF do not currently expect to make grants for sites in private or commercial ownership, but they do not rule our support for projects which include privately owned property as part of a wider area, where the level of public benefit outweighs any incidental private gain.

21.4 Eligibility is also assessed on the following criteria:

1 importance of the project to the heritage;

2 conservation benefits of the project to the heritage;

3 access benefits of the project;

4 additional public benefits;

5 quality of the design of the project;

6 financial need and viability;

7 strengths of the organisation.

Eligible works

21.5 The HLF will provide capital grants for physical works or purchase for preserving and enhancing access to things which are of importance to the heritage. They will also provide revenue grants for non-capital expenditure such as people services, equipment and material normally for up to three years, which offer sustainable benefits beyond the period of funding.

21.6 Projects of over ,500,00 go through a two stage process to enable an early decision on whether a project is likely to be considered for support. A stage one consent could be available within six months.

Consideration should be given to phasing projects, or for support of a significant phase of repair.

With projects over ,500,000, all services will normally be obtained by competitive tendering.

For large projects, independent monitors are appointed.

On project costs of ,100,000 or more, they may fund up to 75% of eligible costs. Partnership funding can include elements of >in kind= contributions ie. value of land, materials, or expenditure on the project in the 12 months before submission of the application, but at least 10% should be cash.

A business plan must be provided where the eligible project costs are ,500,000 or more or the project will result in significant new or additional running costs.

21.7 For historic parks under the Countryside and Nature Conservation grants, HLF may fund:

1 purchase of land;

2 conserving, improving or restoring designed landscape;

3 repairing historic structures;

4 time-limited revenue costs;

5 time-limited costs of a maintenance or management services;

6 improving physical access;

7 on-site interpretation;

8 capital costs for management assistance;

9 survey and recording of scenic, scientific, archaeological, historic adn cultural significance of the landscape;

10 management plan.

21.8 Priority is given to countryside projects as follows:

1 individual sites of outstanding importance to the national heritage intended for public or non-profit organisations;

2 integrated area based projects put forward by public or not-for-profit organisation which involves expenditure on both public and private property;

3 strategic theme-based projects of countryside enhancement out forward by public or not-for-profit organisation, focussing on one class of local built feature.

21.9 They regard direct applications from private or commercial owners as a lower priority.

21.10 For Urban Parks an Designed Landscape grants, HLF may fund:

1 landscape restoration;

2 repair of historic structures and buildings;

3 repair of boundary features;

4 repair and renewal of paths;

5 long-term planting schemes such as tree and shrubberies and restoration of historic garden designs;

6 reinstatement of vanished features or structures;

7 cost of new park managers for up to five years where the post will become permanent.

21.11 For urban Parks and Designed Landscape Projects, the following priorities are relevant:

1 wider heritage merit in relation to, for example, conservation areas, listed buildings;

2 adequacy and extent of understanding of historical research in identifying needs and proposals;

3 quality and appropriateness of structural restoration and recreation proposals;

4 how far proposals for planting or removal pf planting conserve or restore the historic character.

21.12 HLF will encourage applicants to seek funding for part of the work from other sources.

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22 .0 ENGLISH HERITAGE GRANTS SCHEME

22.1 The Garden Grants Scheme, administered by English Heritage, offers grants towards the repairs to outstanding parks and gardens. This is a small grant scheme with limited funds.

Conditions

22.2 English Heritage Parks and Gardens Grants are restricted to those that are >outstanding= historically, thus they will be graded Grade I or Grade II* on the Register of Parks and Gardens. The area within which works may be eligible is defined by a map showing the extent of the gardens and other land of historic interest.

22.3 English Heritage Parks and Gardens Grants are restricted to those that are >outstanding= historically, thus they will be graded Grade I or Grade II* on the Register of Parks and Gardens. The area within which works may be eligible is defined by a map showing the extent of the gardens and other land of historic interest. Due to the small budget available under the scheme and the relatively high cost of repair works in historic parks and gardens consideration will be given to >packaging= grants with other agencies including the Countryside Stewardship scheme.

22.4 The botanical interest of a garden is not something that EH take into account, although the style and type of planting may be significant historically and thereby eligible for a grant. EH do not give grants for abandoned gardens, although where these have left significant earthworks they may be considered as ancient monument and be eligible for a monuments grant.

22.5 Conditions of EH Gardens grants:

1 the engagement of an approved landscape consultant/advisor with the appropriate knowledge to plan and specify the work in detail. The landscape advisor will inspect the repair and certify works where contractors have been used. In many cases they will have to inspect the works at appropriate intervals to approve requests for payment of grant;

2 members of the public should be allowed access. Properties which are not open to the public will have to undertake to advertise access and provide an agreed set number of days per year. Normally access would be restricted to garden areas and amenity woodland, and full account will be taken of any dangers to particularly sensitive areas;

3 restored features should be regularly inspected and maintained in the future. Preparation and implementation of a maintenance plan may be required. This will apply particularly where the establishment period is vital to the success of the planting.

4 any further changes to the layout of the gardens or park must be approved by EH. This does not mean that they will reject all further change, but they do need to ensure that having put public money into a property, the restoration objectives are not frustrated by incompatible or destructive new works.

Eligible Works

22.6 The following works are eligible for funding:

1 survey work required to record and investigate the historic landscape; establish its value and prepare the repair proposals;

2 grade II buildings and structures (eg. grottoes, statues, temples, follies, obelisks, pergolas, fountains, bridges, steps, walls, ha-has and railings) that are important as components of the outstanding garden or park;

3 other minor architectural and surfacing detail which is a vital component of the overall garden design and contributes significantly to its character, historic interest and functioning;

4 ornamental planting; especially specimen trees, hedges and large shrubs, together with clearance operations stump grinding, ground preparation, weed control, effective fencing and tree surgery required for establishment and good growth;

5 water features, e.g. cascades and pools.

22.7 English Heritage will decide on works eligible for grant aid on the basis of the restoration scheme and management plan which has been prepared by the owner in agreement with English Heritage. The restoration/management plan must be prepared by an independent specialist consultant and the professional fees incurred for doing this work may also be eligible for grant aid. Assurance will be sought that the proposed works are compatible with other estate management aims and they must be sustainable, practically and economically. For example it is not acceptable to restore a complex shrubbery or lengths of yew hedging if there are not the staff to maintain it.

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23 .0 FUNDING AT STOKE PARK

23.1 Cooper Partnership have had meetings on site with representatives from FRCA to discuss Countryside Stewardship and the Forestry Authority to discuss the Woodland Grants Scheme, and a telephone conversation with Heritage Lottery Fund. The outcome of those discussions are set out below. In all cases, the representatives of the funding bodies approached were enthusiastic to grant-aid work at Stoke Park, but the current ownership or likely future legal agreements would preclude this.

Countryside Stewardship

23.2 In the view of Stoke Park is eminently suitable for Countryside Stewardship both in terms of its important grassland habitat and its status as a designed landscape. Funding would cover management of the grassland in the park, replanting of parkland trees and the restoration of garden buildings. There would need to be an agreed and researched restoration plan, based on the LUC Masterplan of 1991 updated by Cooper Partnership=s Management Plan of May 1998.

23.3 The funding would be subject to a commitment to control the management of the site for ten years.

23.4 Grant aid will not be forthcoming where the work is subject to management conditions either through another grant scheme or an existing legal requirement, such as a planning consent. If the garden buildings were excluded from the Section 106 Agreement, Countryside Stewardship would not grant-aid their restoration in isolation from work to the parkland landscape but only as an integral part of the designed landscape along with the general parkland landscape.

23.5 If the requirement for restoration of Stoke Park formed part of a legal agreement, such as a Section 106 Agreement under the planning acts, Countryside Stewardship funding would not be available.

Woodland Grant Scheme

23.6 In view of the Forestry Authority=s representative, work for grant-aiding has to be related to woodland that could be regarded as ‘natural’. At Stoke Park, this includes the following:

1 Western Half of Barn Wood: fencing to prevent access by stock; management as coppice, creation of footpaths and limited restocking; surgery to major trees; clearance of scrub, sycamore and elm within woodlands;

2 Pale Plantation: surgery to major trees; limited tree planting; fencing; footpaths;

3 Pond Field Wood: fencing to exclude stock and allow natural regeneration; limited coppicing; footpaths;

4 Stable Hill: despite the potential lack of public access, it may be possible to grant-aid work in this area, depending on its size;

5 Hermitage Wood/Long Wood: fencing; coppicing; clearance of laurel and scrub to open up saloons; footpaths; surgery to major trees; planting to link to Barn Wood;

6 Stapleton Wood (area of scrub above M32): fencing to exclude stock and allow natural regeneration; limited clearance and coppicing of scrub.

23.7 Restoration of paths and clearance of areas of laurel and scrub invasion will effectively restore some of Wright’s C18th design and also allow public access which the local authority were keen to implement. Fencing will both direct and limit public access and prevent stock entering the woods.

23.8 It is unlikely that the Forestry Authority would be able to grant-aid the following work:

1 Management or replanting of the eastern half of Barn Wood, as this is regarded as dominated by ornamental planting and because of its open character, replanting would not reach FA’s restocking densities;

2 Surgery to trees other than those close to or within woodlands;

3 Clearance of scrub within the park; the Forestry Authority may need to be consulted over scrub clearance as the scrub may be regarded as woodland, requiring a felling licence.

23.9 Woodland Grant Schemes are not limited by the type of owner or any relationship to planning conditions or agreements, and are likely to be available for the woodlands at Stoke Park. However, they will only apply to work to some of the woodlands and do not offer funding for the open areas of the park.

Heritage Lottery Fund

23.10 For the time being, HLF do not expect to make grants for sites in private or commercial ownership, but they do not rule out support for projects which include privately owned property as part of a wider area, where the level of public benefit outweighs any incidental private gain.

23.11 Although HLF criterior for grant-aid seem to discourage land in private ownership, they do not rule it out completely. They may regard Stoke Park as a high priority, although they may take account of the applications made by Bristol City Council for some of their parks and HLF may want to limit their expenditure in the Bristol area.

23.12 As the bulk of the registered landscape is in private ownership, Stoke Park is unlikely to receive HLF funding.

English Heritage Grants Scheme

23.13 English Heritage Grants are limited to those landscapes graded I or II* on the Register and, as Stoke Park is graded II, it will not be eligible until such time as English Heritage change their criteria. As a result, no discussions have taken place with English Heritage over funding. However, funding may be available for Grade II Structures, of which there are several in the park. Note that funding is very limited.

 

 

 

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