Contractors prepare for Stanmer Park restoration

Buxton Building Contractors Ltd has been appointed as the main contractor for the Stanmer Park Restoration Project.

The historic walled garden, originally Stanmer House’s kitchen garden and more recently used as the council’s plant nursery, is being leased to Plumpton College.

The council was awarded £3.8m towards the total £5.1m cost of the project by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and BIG Lottery Fund in January 2017.

Site set-up has already begun in preparation for work to begin on 24 June.

The Stanmer Park restoration project is expected to take at least 18 months to complete and will include:

  • Restoration of the Walled Garden and surrounding areas
  • Extending horticultural learning, training and volunteering opportunities
  • A new welcome and information centre at the Lower Lodges with refreshments, public toilets and bike hire 
  • Restoration of  the 18th century landscape and historical features including the Grade II Frankland Monument
  • An additional car park and new shared pedestrian/cycle path
  • Improved access to the park
  • Planting over 250 new trees
  • Creating a 10-year management vision for the park including an estate-wide Woodland Management Plan
  • A dedicated onsite team to deliver the 10 year vision.

Commenting on the plans, Councillor Anne Pissaridou, Chair of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee said: “We are delighted to be witnessing the start of this exciting new chapter in Stanmer Park’s fascinating history. The community has been involved with Stanmer for many years and this project will build on their valuable work to protect and celebrate this precious green space asset, while hundreds of new education, volunteering and learning opportunities and activities will enhance everyone’s enjoyment of the park for generations to come.”

Pauline Warnes, Business Development Director, Buxton Building Contractors added: “We are delighted to be working with Brighton & Hove City Council on the enhancement of this prestigious historic park and ancillary buildings. The planned improvements will restore and transform this community space for the benefit of many user groups locally and for those visitors who come from further afield.”

James Hibbert, Deputy Principal at Plumpton College said: “We are excited for the project to begin, and to start seeing the plans come to life. The first part of the Walled Garden to be developed is the new horticultural space and campus. We look forward to welcoming new students to that campus over the next academic year, and the opportunities for us through the Walled Garden to showcase and teach horticultural excellence to students on the doorstep of Brighton.

Regular project updates will be shared on social media and posted on Buxton Building’s weekly blog

Buxton Building Contractors has extensive knowledge and experience of historic landscape restoration work. One of their recent projects is the refurbishment of the 19th Century Malting House in Canterbury to create a performing arts centre.

Stanmer Park facts

  • Stanmer Park is the city’s largest park, extending to 485 hectares and sits within the South Downs National Park.
  • The park includes the Grade I listed Stanmer House, plus 25 further Grade II listed buildings and structures. The buildings and landscape have deteriorated and are classified as at risk.
  • There is evidence of human habitation at Stanmer from the Neolithic period – some 6000 years ago. 
  • Stanmer Park is a largely intact 18th Century designed Grade II registered landscape of historic and national significance.

Note: The Traditional Agricultural Buildings (or “Long Barn”) is subject to a separate project.