Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds, deputy leader and cabinet member for Culture, Heritage and Health, said: “The new play area is a wonderful facility for children who live in our resort, and for those who visit it. I’m pleased we could incorporate the rocking horse from the old play area, as this was requested by lots of our residents when we consulted them about this project. It encapsulates our intentions for this project: to provide modern fit-for-purpose facilities, while remaining mindful of Hunstanton’s rich heritage.”
The play area joins a number of elements of the Hunstanton Heritage Gardens project that are already completed: the Edwardian pavilion and rose garden, the south shelter, the crazy golf course, the restored town sign, and the extensive paving work. The bronze life-size statue of Hunstanton’s founder Henry Le Strange, intended as a centrepiece of the gardens, was officially unveiled recently in a well-attended ceremony.
Work is also due to be completed shortly after the opening of the play area on the lookout, the Time and Tide Garden, and the fountain. The lookout has been improved with sloped access and a widened walkway, and a new decked area which provides a larger viewing area. A new telescope has been installed so visitors can enjoy views of the famous cliffs, and the Wash. The Time and Tide garden is a new area that has been created to celebrate Hunstanton’s links with the sea. It includes seating, information boards and a new photographic timeline of events in Hunstanton’s history. The garden is intended to provide visitors with space for quiet contemplation and reflection.
Work is shortly to be completed on some of the larger-scale elements, such as the butterfly shelters, the Victorian shelters, and the town cross. Cllr Nockolds added: “The completion date for some of the strands of the project is later than we initially anticipated, but this is a complex project, and complications have arisen during it. Hunstanton is home to some historically significant structures, and we’ve had to work carefully to find the best course of action to restore them. We’re confident that the end of this project will result in beautiful gardens of which we can all be proud.”
Robyn Llewellyn, head of HLF East of England, said: "It's been fantastic to see the progess of the Hunstanton Heritage Gardens' regeneration and the benefits being made for its fantastic heritage and for people of all ages. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we're delighted to support this project and look forward to celebrating its completion."
To find out more about the project, visit www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/