Hampshire County Council has invested £950,000, along with £2.85 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund, to restore the historic park to its former glory and invest in improved visitor facilities, as the park approaches Staunton's bicentenary in 2019.
Councillor Seán Woodward, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage, said: “We are really pleased that work can now get underway to conserve and restore Staunton’s unique historic features, and enhance the visitor facilities. Our vision is to make Staunton a ‘must visit’ destination in Hampshire.”
Work to be completed by the end of 2019 will include:
- - Restoration of the Grade II* listed landscape
- - Conservation of the historic follies and Chinese bridge
- - Two activity rooms available to park and community groups
- - Improvements to car parking
- - New catering and toilet facilities
- - New trails and activities
The country park in Havant is partly modelled on the former Imperial Park at Jehol in China. The nineteenth century site was formerly the home of Sir George Thomas Staunton - whose father Sir George Leonard Staunton introduced a Chinese tea blend to England, later named Earl Grey Tea.
Councillor Woodward continued: “We know that Staunton has a fascinating history spanning two centuries so far. This project is a once in a lifetime opportunity to sympathetically link its past with an exciting new chapter in its history.”
A new blog will be launched soon to provide regular updates, including information on volunteering opportunities, stories about Staunton’s special historical features including the Clock Tower, and details on the hidden follies as they’re uncovered.
Find out more about Staunton Country Park online.