A series of essential improvement works has transformed the Lloyd and Aveling Park in Walthamstow into a state-of-the-art facility for 21st century visitors.
Once home to the artist William Morris and newspaper publisher Frank Lloyd, Lloyd Park was opened in 1900 and Aveling Park was added in 1912. The combined 12 hectares of land provide a beautiful recreational space for the surrounding community and include what is thought to be a medieval moat.
In order to enable the park to meet the needs of an estimated one million visitors per year, a variety of exciting improvement works have been carried out under the Parks for People programme. These include wildlife planting and the construction of a new tennis court, café and play area.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the BIG Lottery Fund have invested £3.48 million in the scheme, whilst Walthamstow Council has invested a further £1 million. Main contractor for the project is the Jerram Falkus Group.
Wesley Kerr, Chairman of Heritage Lottery Fund’s London Committee, commented:
“This much-loved local park had become overwhelmed with bitty accretions over the years. This bold development has enhanced all the existing amenities but also restored the amazing medieval moat and island, created a series of well-maintained and themed garden areas and reconnected the historic country mansion which was William Morris’s childhood home.
“We are thrilled that Heritage Lottery Fund cash has benefitted the million Londoners who already used Lloyd and Aveling Park every year, and has made their visits even more uplifting.”
Debbie Pippard, Head of the Big Lottery Fund (London), added:
“Lloyd and Aveling Park in Walthamstow is one of the area’s most beloved green spaces and is a popular stopping place for local residents and visitors alike.
“It now offers a great number of activities for people of all ages and interests and the lottery funding had contributed towards the necessary restoration and further development of this much-loved park that will allow it to live up to its great potential.”
Improvements have included the installation of new paths, lighting, railings, seating and signage. In addition, a new hub building – with an improved café, toilets, community training room and park keepers’ office – has replaced the changing room gallery and the Horizon Café.
One of the most exciting aspects of the project is the welcome addition of new gardens for the William Morris Gallery. Housed within an 18th century listed building, the gallery is the only public museum devoted entirely to William Morris, and boasts an internationally important collection of work from Morris and others from the Arts & Crafts movement.
Although the project has included the removal of 131 trees, 192 new mature trees and 400 whips have been planted in their place. Lloyd Park are keen to maintain a large and healthy population of both structured amenity trees and trees that provide mixed habitats for wildlife.
Councillor Geraldine Reardon, Waltham Forest Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Arts and Culture, said:
“We are absolutely delighted with the project. This success is a real testament to the hard work and ambition of everyone involved in the restoration.
“Lloyd and Aveling Park provides a great place for rest, relaxation and recreation for Waltham Forest residents, and we have made some impressive changes to ensure it is an even more popular destination for generations to come.
“With a new gallery, cafe, skate park, bowling green, children’s play area and a garden that will pay homage to the work of the great William Morris, we hope to give something more to the park’s many visitors and encourage even more to come and use this wonderful park.”
A Lloyd Park spokesperson added:
“We would not have been successful in this restoration project without the hard work of local organisations, community groups and volunteers as well as the contractors and subcontractors involved throughout. Thank you very much to everyone who was involved.”