‘Unstable’ park walls will be reconstructed

Crumbling walls in Worden Park

Crumbling walls in Worden Park

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Crumbling walls in one of Lancashire’s most popular parks are set for a full-scale renovation.

South Ribble Council is looking to repair three historic structures at Grade II listed Worden Park, which are described as “unstable” and “weakened”.

The park has a number of walls that date back to various stages of it’s 300 year history, including an ornamental balustrade constructed as a boundary to the formal gardens of the now-demolished Worden Hall, a Gardener’s Cottage Wall made of rubble near the arts and crafts centre, and a red brick wall that was part of the former farmyard estate. All require attention by specialists.

A heritage report states the balustrade wall has been vandalised over the years and motar has degraded, allowing a section to be pushed over.

The gardener’s cottage wall has a stretch running southwards that has completely collapsed and needs dismantling and reconstucting.

The farmyward wall is described as in “poor condition due to the loss of many of the copings, allowing water ingress into the joints and vegetation, especially ivy, exploiting voids within the weakened structures.”

Cash for the repair scheme is from a £1m pot South Ribble has set aside to improve the borough’s green spaces in the next 12 months.

Coun Graham Walton, South Ribble Borough Council cabinet member for Neighbourhoods and Streetscene, said: “These stone walls have served the park well for generations. However, some of them are now showing their age and, with so many other improvements taking place in the park at the moment, it’s an appropriate time to start thinking about how we can restore them.

“Some of them will be stripped back and rebuilt from scratch using the original stone and construction method.

“Others, which have undergone historic repairs over the years, will be carefully restored, and inappropriate materials will be replaced so the walls regain their characteristic look, which is more in keeping with the rest of the park.”

Also as part of the renewal work, new timber signage and information boards will be installed in various places in the park, as well as new ‘slimline’ bins to replace ones at the end of their life.