Pittville Pump Room

Our Pump Room Action Group aims to improve the visitor experience at Pittville Pump Room, encouraging and supporting The Cheltenham Trust. We carried out a survey in summer 2018, producing a report, The Visitor Experience at Pittville Pump Room which was submitted to the Trust. We plan to repeat the exercise this year. Our longer term vision for the Pump Room can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpXvwRTIbH0&feature=youtu.be

If you are interested in joining the team please contact us through the contact form on this website.

Improvements to the landscape around the Upper Lake and towards Pittville Pump Room

In 2017, Cheltenham Borough Council and Friends of Pittville commissioned Illman Young Landscape Design to advise on improving the landscape between the Upper Lake and Pittville Pump Room.  The area has been broken down into the following zones:

  1. The Rock Garden
    The west end of the rockery has been cleared, missing rocks replaced and planted out with a mixture of alpines, bulbs, herbaceous plants and shrubs. It is being maintained by the FOP green space volunteers.
    The east end of the rockery has been cleared, some of the rocks replaced and phase 1 planting due to start in April 2023.
  2. The South Lake shrubberies
    The east end of the shrubbery on the south bank of the upper lake has been partially cleared with inappropriate trees removed and shrubs such as laurel pruned to give views of the lake. The area is fenced off with railings as preserved as a wildlife area. The lake edge was protected and planted with aquatic plants as part of the Urban Greening Project.
    Work has not started on the west end of the shrubbery.
  3. The Pump Room approaches and frontage
    The project to reinstate the stone steps to the south of the apron in front of the Pump is proceeding and the return of tenders for the work are due. Funds for the work have been secured and construction of the steps should be complete by the end of September 2023.
    The design of and planning permission for the replacement of the entry gates to the park at the end of East and West Approach Drives have been obtained. Obtaining the funds for this work is yet to start.
  4. The Eastern Border
    Work has not started on this area yet.

All work has been carried out by Friends of Pittville Green Space Volunteers and contractors hired by the Borough Council. Click to read the Illman Young Report which is the blueprint for all the work described above.

The four projects are included in the 10 Year Management Plan and may take up to ten years to complete. They will be jointly managed and funded by the Borough Council and Friends of Pittville, which will seek grant funding for specific elements in due course.

Feeding ducks and other wildfowl: a coin-operated dispenser for healthy feed

Friends of Pittville, in partnership with Cheltenham Borough Council, has installed a coin-operated dispenser on the Upper Lake in Pittville Park. This dispenses food which is suitable for wildfowl such as ducks and swans. The project has been running since March 2015 and was evaluated in January 2017. There have been hiccups along the way but, overall, we believe it is worth continuing to offer this service. Until the beginning of 2023, the dispenser was managed on a day-to-day basis by a local charity, St Vincent’s and St George’s Association, now renamed AimUp. Unfortunately the charity has moved its centre of activities away from the Pittville area and their valued involvement had to come to an end. Friends of Pittville volunteers manage the dispenser full-time now. The lessons we have learned have been turned into Hints and Tips for anyone considering a similar enterprise (revised November 2018).

New play area for Pittville Park

During 2016 we worked closely with Cheltenham Borough Council to create the play area in Pittville Park. Our successful fundraising meant that the full plan was implemented in one go. The play area is hugely popular for young families and is extremely well-maintained and services by Cheltenham Borough Council. At the time of writing in early 2023, we are planning more improvements on the planting side, with sensory beds featuring between the play area and the birdhouses.

Green Flag and Green Heritage status for Pittville Park

Friends of Pittville played a major role in supporting Cheltenham Borough Council’s successful application for Green Flag status and Green Heritage Site accreditation for Pittville Park, which was awarded in July 2016 and then again in 2022.

The Green Flag award for parks and other green spaces is similar to the Blue Flag for beaches, while Green Heritage Site accreditation is given to sites of local or national historic importance. Judges look at the extent to which applicants:

• understand the heritage value of the site
• acknowledge the heritage value of the site
• share the heritage value of the site
• conserve, enhance and help people enjoy the heritage value of the site.

Pittville is the only park in Gloucestershire to have earned this prestigious award.

Pittville Gates

Civic Award plaque

Our project to refurbish Pittville Gates earned a Civic Award from Cheltenham Civic Society in April 2016. You can read all about the Pittville Gates project here.