A £2m masterplan for the regeneration of Brooklands Park in Worthing, West Sussex, has begun with the renovation of its central lake, which is a large balancing pond serving a third of the local areas and an important wildlife wetland habitat.
Initial works, carried out by SafeSite Facilities for Five Rivers Environmental Contracting, involved securing the perimeter around the lake; restricting access to passers-by while the lake was drained down and ensuring site safety around the area while the renovation work was being completed.
This was no easy task with over eight acres to cover and several obstacles to overcome, such as dense vegetation and sloping banks. Walkways around the park were still in constant use by pedestrians, so it was essential that the lake was secured quickly and safely.
A heavy-duty security solution in the shape of temporary steel fencing was installed around the perimeter, with a close-mesh ‘anti-climb’ design providing an additional deterrent.
This galvanised fencing provides weather resistance; the panels can be easily deployed and, if required, repositioned as work progresses – making them a very flexible option.
The panels were secured and linked using feet, clips and steadfast struts and, in just eight hours, 1300m of fencing was installed – and the lake and river at Brooklands Park completely protected. The team from SafeSite Facilities also walked the park weekly to ensure the perimeter remained secure.
HSE guidelines that help protect the public are a major consideration when it comes to site safety, and the temporary Heras fencing system meets HSE standards. The system has even been tested by Sheffield Hallam University and has proved to resist wind speeds in excess of gale-force.
Local councillors have commended the transformation of the lake at Brooklands Park. As a result of the restoration, the water quality is much better, and the habitat has been improved.
Greig McGarva, Sales Team Leader at SafeSite Facilities, said: “We’ve really enjoyed being involved in this restoration project, supporting Five Rivers to revive the lake and ensuring the site was safe and secure for the public. Reaching this milestone is a huge step towards preserving the green space at Brooklands Park for residents to enjoy for many years to come.”
Ben Sharp, Site Manager for Five Rivers – whose team moved more than 17,500m³ of silt from the bottom of the lake – said: “It was a great project to be involved in, even though much of it saw us wading through mud during an extremely cold and wet winter.”
Brooklands Park masterplan
The £2m regeneration project proposed by Worthing Borough Council will see Brooklands turned into a science adventure park, with an emphasis on learning through fun, play and exploration.
Key new features will include a new cafe and lakeside picnicking area in the centre of the park, as well as improved walks and fitness trails, areas for outdoor events and an adventure play area.
Councillors have said the aim is to “make Brooklands a fantastic green space for families to enjoy”, and “a destination for people from outside the area as well as locals”.
Some of the park’s existing ‘nostalgic’ attractions such as the miniature railway, golf course and go-karts will be removed, but councillors insist the new plan is safeguarding the long-term future of the park.
The proposed design also includes an indoor leisure activity centre in the south-west corner of the park to ensure it remains attractive to visitors all year round. The final plan for the activity centre is still part of an ongoing engagement process; however, the location lends itself well to an environmental focus, particularly with the Rampion Wind Farm situated off the local coastline. The position of the central lake also supports learning opportunities around natural science and nature.
There is also an aim to improve access between Brooklands Park, the seafront and beach; with plans to improve transport links and increase the number of parking spaces and coach drop-off areas. Work is underway to fund all the proposed new features with developers seeking capital investment, corporate sponsorship and external funding through grants.
Work is expected to begin in early 2019 and is planned to be completed in stages in order to keep some areas of the park open at all times, and as funding becomes available.
The most recent work to be carried out at the park is the installation of a new boardwalk and essential maintenance around the lake. New planting on some of the islands is providing a natural habitat for wildlife. The riverbanks are in the process of being landscaped and seeded and, once established, will create a lush, vegetative covering.