Stanmer Park is a working landscape which includes opportunities for many leisure activities, farming, grazing and food growing. It is also home to residents living in Stanmer Village and a base for several businesses, including the council nursery, South Downs National Park Authority offices and community groups and organisations.
In July 2014 the council made two applications for Heritage Lottery Funding for Stanmer Park. They were a ‘Heritage Grant’ application to renovate Home Farm, and a ‘Parks for People’ application to regenerate the Walled Garden and other parts of the Stanmer landscape.
The applications were made as part of a wider, long term plan to restore Stanmer Park. The Heritage Grant application was unsuccessful, but the Parks for People application resulted in the council being awarded almost £300,000 to develop proposals.
Since then, council officers have been working with Plumpton College and the South Downs National Park and other organisations (including Heritage England) to prepare a Masterplan for the park and a final application for stage 2 funding to Heritage Lottery Fund/Big Lottery Fund. The plan aims to prioritise restoration and improvement work and develop a long term vision for the estate over the next 10 years.
The Masterplan aims to improve the main entrance and 18th century parkland main and approach to Stanmer House, Walled Garden and Nursery and the adjacent depot area.
Restoring the landscape and heritage features
Addressing traffic and parking issues, and improving access to the park
Relocating the council’s City Parks depot
Restoring the Walled Garden Nursery and surrounding area
Delivering horticultural and heritage gardening training and food production
Providing educational and learning opportunities
Explaining the heritage and importance of the Estate.
In addition proposals include opportunities for volunteering and training in horticulture, heritage gardening and food production, along with facilities for learning about the heritage of the estate, historic landscape and the South Downs.
Plumpton College has agreed, in principle, to manage and maintain the walled garden on a lease from the council.