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.  Here are updates on the work done in the area, which 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, rocks replaced and partially planted out with a similar mix of plants to the west end.  Further planting will take place in 2024 and continue to be maintained by the FoP green space volunteers.
  2. The Upper Lake shrubberies on the south bank
    The east shrubbery area has been partially cleared and some inappropriate trees removed, the shrubs were pruned to give views of the lake but need continuing maintenance. The area is fenced off with railings to preserve it for wildlife. The lake edge was protected and planted with aquatic plants as part of the Cheltenham Borough Council 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 has now been completed.  This was done in compliance with listed building consent and full planning permission.  A detailed page on the background and stages of this reinstatement is currently under construction.  The finished work is illustrated in this photo taken at the opening ceremony in November 2023.  The design of and planning permission, together with listed building consent, have been obtained for a further project working on the replacement of the entry gates to the park at the end of East and West Approach Drives. A timescale and the serious work on raising  funds for these gates is yet to start.
  4. The Eastern Border
    The work proposed on this border was relatively minor and some of that work is being carried out by the FoP green space volunteers as part of the maintenance they carry out during the regular working parties.

Work on the projects above is funded and carried out partly by Cheltenham Borough Council and their contractors and partly by the FoP and their green space volunteers . To read the Illman Young Report click here

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  are now managing the dispenser full-time. The lessons we have learned have been turned into Hints and Tips for anyone considering a similar enterprise (revised November 2018).

Play area for Pittville Park

In 2016 the Friends of Pittville worked closely with Cheltenham Borough Council to create a new play area and to refurbish the aviaries. FoP helped with the fundraising and that 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.

The Friends of Pittville have obtained a grant, to which they are adding funds, for phase-1 of the project to convert the 6 brick planters in front of the aviaries into a Sensory Garden.  Design work has been started and planting will commence in 2024.  The local scouts, disability groups and other parties will be invited to contribute design ideas together with a local artist. The intent is to make it bright and interesting for children and adults alike.  It is hoped to incorporate some sculptural elements to the design in phase-2.

Habitat Boards

The Friends of Pittville applied for grant to fund the graphic design and manufacture of lantern style information boards that describe three different habitats in the west side of Pittville Park. The designs for the Lake and Meadow habitats were carried out by a small group of FoP volunteers together with an officer of Cheltenham Borough Council and have now been erected in the park.  The same team, together with the trees officer, are designing the Native Tree habitat board which will incorporate a tree walk for people to enjoy.  This should be erected in the park later in 2024.

Bed 38

This specific Bed 38 is located in the south west corner of the Long Garden near the junction of Wellington Road and Evesham Road.  It is the first sight of the park people get when leaving the the town centre.  It was overgrown and contained a yew tree that looked rather sad and neglected.  The Friends of Pittville undertook to clear the bed, have the yew tree pruned and to plant it out with attractive shrubs and trees to ‘announce’ the park.  The work was carried out by FoP green space volunteers who keep it maintained and each year add new plants to enhance and enrich the design.

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 has been again in subsequent years.

The Green Flag award is the benchmark international standard for publicly accessible parks and green spaces in the United Kingdom and around the world.  The scheme is a way of recognising and rewarding the best  green spaces in the country.  Each space is judged under 8 main headings.

Green Heritage Site accreditation supported by Historic England, is given in recognition of achieving the required standard of interpretation of a site with local or national historic importance.

Pittville Gates 2016

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.

Pittville Park Steps 2022

This project was originally intended to be completed in commemoration of the Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.  Covid and other delays meant that it was only able to be completed at the end of 2023 after her decease. A page with full details of how it all happened is currently under construction.