Watermans Park Reopens in Time for Spring

Landscaping and improvement work finally completed

The new Watermans Park playground


Watermans Park Re-landscaping Proceeding

Update from the Friends of Watermans Park

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Watermans Park has been formally reopened this Friday 1 April after being closed since last November.

The upgrades includes a new cycleway and footpaths, new hedges, planting and wildflowers. There is now an outdoor table tennis table and a covered performance area for performances and exercise sessions.

The play area has been improved, with new facilities for older children. The new look will be rounded off later with additional tree planting and a restored boardwalk area. The timber on the current boardwalk needs to be replaced and a survey is to be carried out shortly to confirm if the supporting structure is sound.

Philip Jones, Chair, Friends of Watermans Park said, “As trees come into blossom and leaf and wildflowers become established, I hope you’ll agree, the park will look fabulous. We already know that the play and exercise equipment will be popular, but sadly there has been some vandalism and the equipment needs to be checked to make sure it is safe to use before that area is opened.”

The section of Cycleway 9 that runs through the park is close off until lighting, delineating tactile paving and signage is installed. A dropped kerb also needs to be installed to allow cyclists to safely access the track from the High Street. It is understood that these changes will be completed by June.

The drinking fountain by the play area is not yet operational as Thames Water needs to schedule the work to get it connected.

More waste bins are set to be added to the park with daily emptying of the bins promised except during winter.

Bird and bat boxes, insect hotels and a book depository will be installed over the coming months and seating and tables along the Thames Path will be replaced with new furniture the same as sited elsewhere in the park.

According to the Friends of Watermans Park, earlier this month the developer of the new moorings received a Marine Licence from the Marine Management Organisation to begin construction. It is understood that the developer now has until December to complete Phase I of the moorings. Earlier permissions to remove the boardwalk and replace it with a reed bed have been superseded by new plans that will see the boardwalk retained and upgrade.

Mr Jones added, “Perhaps the success of the transformation of the park will be judged on how it will be enjoyed over coming months and years. One new facility is a performance space close to the western entrance. We would really like to see this space well used for yoga classes, by local musicians, by local schools, for open mic events to celebrate local talent.”

The Friends are seeking to grow their membership to enable them to seek more funding to organise events in the park. They’ll be holding a Friends Meeting and AGM on Wednesday 20 April at 7pm at Studio Flox, Ground Floor, Watermans Park Building (access from Smith Hill or Watermans Arts Centre car park).

If you have any questions, would like to receive updates from or join the Friends, contact Philip Jones at chair@friendsofwatermanspark.org.

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April 1, 2022

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