Council agrees to spend £530,000 for Daventry Country Park improvements

Councillor Alan Hills has called the work biggest set of improvements at the park in more than 20 years
Councillor Alan Hills has called the work biggest set of improvements at the park in more than 20 years

Daventry Country Park is set to undergo major improvements this year after councillors agreed to allocate £530,000 for the work.

A £235,000 project to transform the play area is already under way, with work due to start next week in preparation for an Easter opening.

The £530,000 will go towards improving paths, building new walkways and jetties and improving the café area and toilets at the Green Flag Award-winning park.

Cllr Alan Hills, portfolio holder for community, culture and leisure at Daventry District Council, said: "We are very proud of Daventry Country Park, which has been a well-loved feature of Daventry for more than 40 years.

"It draws in many thousands of visitors from Daventry and the surrounding area each year, so it’s important we continue to improve and enhance it for the benefit of everyone.

"Many of the improvements focus on making the park safer and more accessible, which is very important to us.

"It’s the biggest set of improvements at the park in more than 20 years, but we have phased the programme of work in order to minimise disruption.

"We want to ensure visitors can still enjoy the park during the improvements safely.

"These improvements will benefit visitors for many years to come, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing the work progress over the next 12 months."

The work will be carried out in phases.

Phase one will see new equipment installed in the play area, including a castle-themed fort with lots of different activities, new swings, some smaller items for toddlers, and a refurbished zip wire and is estimated for completion this Easter.

Phase two will see pathways in the Community Sensory Garden and along the western side of the reservoir resurfaced. Two timber footbridges near the southern entrance will be replaced, and a replacement pier with improved access will be installed near the visitor centre. A new jetty will also be built on the opposite side of Lovell’s Bay, providing a safer spot from which to view wildlife, as well as offering a staging point for water sports.

Phase two is estimated completion for completion in late spring/early summer 2019.

Phase three will involve the replacement of the timber marsh walkway on the western side of the reservoir, together with the resurfacing of paths on the eastern side. The toilets next to the visitor centre will be fully refurbished and signage throughout the park will be improved. It's estimated phase three will be completed in autumn 2019.

Phase Four will see the Reservoir Café completely refurbished, with extensions planned to both the kitchen area and the outside refreshments area. The courtyard will be repaved and a new canopy installed over the covered seating area. Phase four is estimated to be finished in autumn/winter 2019.

The changes to the sensory garden planned in phase two are part-funded by Tesco's Bags of Help community grant scheme.

The garden was one of three projects shortlisted for the supermarket's initiative, which sees money raised from carrier bag sales.

Daventry Country Park came second in the vote, and the £2,000 will be used to make improvements including a sensory water feature, an improved planting scheme with a greater variety of colours and scents, and the installation of tactile educational information and activities.

"The money from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative will allow us to work with volunteers and the local community to further improve this space for the park’s many visitors and I would like to thank both Tesco and their shoppers for supporting us in achieving this," said Cllr Hills.