Cedars Park in Waltham Cross has been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of £59,700 after an application was made by a voluntary group.
Friends of Cedars Park applied successfully for the money which will go towards a number of projects to further improve the historic green space.
The total project cost is £67,200 and the HLF money was provided on agreement that the remainder will be provided by Broxbourne Council (£5,500) and the Friends of Cedars Park (£2,000).
Coinciding with the Borough of Broxbourne’s Year of the Environment, the grant will help to protect the local habitat for wildlife to flourish and provide more opportunities for families to experience the park’s beauty.
Part of the work will be to the pond, which was a key feature of Theobald’s Palace over 400 years ago and the project will include installing a sustainable filtration system to help maintain water quality, and a pond-dipping station.
A new nature trail, based around the refurbished pond, will work in conjunction with a specially created digital application for mobile devices, making information about the area’s history and wildlife easily accessible to visitors.
Herts Regional College will document the whole project with a camera that takes two photographs a day, creating a living history record of progress.
The money comes after Friends of Cedars Park reintroduced the native honey bee to the park after a 100-year absence. Part of the grant will go towards planting native and historical plant species to support and create a habitat for bees, endangered bats, grass snakes and other local species.
Community members will be able to learn how to create wildlife habitats using ponds, bat boxes and native plants, as well as have the chance to volunteer to become involved in the refurbishment of the pond.
Members of the public can also join The Friends of Cedars Park to become more involved in protecting the pond environment and exploring local history.
Councillor Dee Hart said: “I am pleased to learn that £59,700 has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund for renovation works to be carried out to the lake at Cedars Park. We are grateful for all the hard work our volunteers, especially Friends of Cedars Park that put in the bid for funding, contribute to projects like this throughout the Borough.”
Daniel Simbrey, chairman of Friends of Cedars Park said: “Local Heritage is traditionally associated with buildings, but all too often we forget that native species, wildlife and skills are also worth preserving.
"We are very thankful for the support of Broxbourne Council over the last few years. This has allowed us to bring back native honey bees and we have started to produce honey and jams from locally grown fruit. This has been recognised with the “Bee’s Needs Award” last year by Defra.
“The Heritage Lottery Fund grant will enable us to continue with this work, rejuvenate the pond and create more spaces for local wildlife. We also invite anyone who is interested to join us at the Easter Fun Day on Wednesday 8 April. Contact us or follow us on Social Media for more information.”
Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, said: “Building on the successful reintroduction of the native honey bee to Cedars Park, we’re delighted to support plans to improve their habitat and that of other endangered and local species. Thanks to National Lottery players, people of all ages will play a role in the future of the pond’s natural treasures and in uncovering its place in the history of the park.”