Restoring Stover Park

Restoring Stover Park Project is made possible with The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, we have a lot of activity about to take place in 2024.

In February 2024 several temporary information panels will be installed to show theMade possible with Heritage Fund overall project plan, and more importantly where visitors can park, walk and find the temporary visitor facilities, whilst the capital works are happening between end of January-July 2024.

Visitor Centre Extension, Community Workshop Build, and Car Park Improvements

Aim: To upgrade facilities for staff, volunteers, the public & visiting groups; To build a community workshop to host practical woodworking sessions for volunteers & which external groups can hire; and To improve the car park by providing a designated space for coaches to drop off students for school/community groups visiting and improve the disabled parking layout.

For this project we are being supported by consultants, South West Norse.

The final designs are finished, planning pre-commencement conditions are nearly complete, and we are currently awaiting the results from the tendering process to procure a contractor to carry out the works.

A temporary portacabin is to be installed to provide additional office space for when the works are underway, and we are looking to carry out some vegetation clearance and tree work in January in preparation for the construction work.

Silt Dredging explanation diagram
Silt Dredging explained

Current timeline: End of January – July 2024.

Stover Lake (SSSI) – Silt Dredging

Aim: The Lake has lost its water lilies and other macrophyte and invertebrate species, caused by accumulated sediment and poor water quality entering the lake. We will remove 14,000 m3 of silt to improve the Lakes’ designation from ‘unfavourable’ to ‘favourable’.

For this project we are being supported by consultants, Fishtek.

The works specification has been completed, planning pre-commencement conditions are nearly complete, and the tender has just been advertised to procure a contractor to carry out this work.

Current timeline: February-July 2024.

Granite Gatehouse

Stover Gatehouse Photo
Stover Gatehouse

Aim – To carry out essential works to repair and conserve the Grade II granite Gatehouse and remove it from the Historic England’s ‘At Risk’ register.

The tender for a consultant is currently being advertised, and we hope to recruit early January. They will then support us to in completing the final works specification, carry out surveys, discharge planning pre-commencement conditions, and assist us to tender for a contractor to carry out the repair work.

Current timeline for repair works: June-August 2024.

Serpentine Lake – Partial Restoration

Serpentine Lake historic photo
Serpentine Lake historic photo

Aim – The Serpentine Lake, once a central feature of the designed landscape, has silted up and no longer carries water. We will restore a portion of the Serpentine Lake below Stover House, restoring part of the historic landscape to become a unifying feature of heritage elements.

We have split this project into two phases.

Phase 1 – We have nearly completed the planning pre-commencement conditions, to enable our Ranger team to carry out vegetation clearance and tree work in February half term, to prepare the site for the restoration works.

Phase 2 – We are currently recruiting a consultant to support us in completing the final design, discharging the rest of the planning pre-commencement conditions, and assisting us to tender for a contractor to carry out the restoration work in the summer school holidays, July-August 2024.

2 New Public Footpaths

Aim – To create two new routes to provide some alternative walk options for our visitors, plus a provision of an area where dogs can be off their lead.  In addition to providing variety for our visitors, this will also help reduce the impact of increased visitor numbers being concentrated around the lake, helping to conserve the wildlife and habitats we need to protect via the SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) designation afforded to Stover Country Park.

By defining new routes, we will reduce pressure on the more sensitive habitats and better protect the SSSI.

Current timeline: Spring 2025

Activity Plan

Restoring Stover Park Activity Programme
Restoring Stover Park Activity Programme

What a busy and exciting first year it has been, with our 6 project programmes in full swing;

  • Weekly sessions have been delivered by Kingscare
  • 4 weekly programmes of family sessions by Home Start
  • Veteran Tree Nursery project is underway with Bearnes Primary School and Stover School,
  • Stover Shed volunteers have been busy creating furniture for our forest school sites and making items for the Roundhouse
  • Newton Abbot Museum volunteers have been carrying out research around different aspects of Stover’s history
  • 6 young people have been recruited and trained in dragonfly identification and survey techniques
  • Newton Abbot Photography Club have been capturing all the stages of work to date in preparation for an exhibition next summer
  • School holiday sessions for EYCN & the Y-Project have been delivered
  • First cycling for improvers programme has been completed
  • Three trainee rangers have been recruited

The Restoring Stover project has been made possible by funding from:

  • National Lottery Heritage Fund
  • National Highways
  • Devon County Council
  • Devon Remembers
  • Bovey Tracey Town Council
  • Kingsteignton Town Council
  • Friends Of Stover Park (FOSP)
  • And of course, a special thank you to all our amazing volunteers!

If you would like to get involved, please email the team at restoringstoverpark@devon.gov.uk.

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