Work to start on five year restoration project of Ampthill Great Park

Ampthill Great Park.
Ampthill Great Park.

A five year restoration project of the historic Ampthill Great Park will get underway this month.

The significant project comes after £606,800 in grant funding was secured last year from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Work at the park, which was once the site of a castle belonging to King Henry VIII, will include landscaping, scrub clearance, tree planting, resurfacing and improving car parks and paths.

An outdoor learning forest school and activity area will also be created.

Park development manager from Ampthill Town Council Gary Quilter said: “The main aim is to improve the park for people and wildlife.”

Much of the park’s landscape was designed by Georgian landscape architect Lancelot “Capability” Brown, and remains historically significant.

The landscaping works will re-establish the views facing north over Marston Vale that were created by the famous architect.

There will be a festival at the park next year to mark 300 years since the birth of Capability Brown and in 2017 the public will be invited to get involved with archeology digs within the park.

Evidence of humans using the area dates back to the Stone Age and the remains of King Henry VIII’s castle are buried beneath its soil.

It was in this castle that Katherine of Aragon received the news in May 1533 that her marriage to the King had been annulled.

During the works every attempt will be made to keep disruption to a minimum.