A £210,000 revamp of historic Edgar’s Field Park in Handbridge, Chester gets under way week commencing March 8.
Work is due to be completed in early summer and improvements include:
A new play area using natural materials; iInstallation of new bins, notice boards and a large park welcome sign; improvements to the park entrances; new tree and shrub planting; reinstatement of bespoke, traditionally-made metal railings to the park boundaries, and the installation of a mosaic to tell the rich stories of Edgar’s Field Park. An international artist has been working with students from Queen’s Park High School who have helped with the research and design of the art work.
The scheme has been funded by WREN, a not-for-profit organisation that awards grants to community projects on behalf of Waste Recycling Group under the landfill communities fund, as well as Cheshire West and Chester Council and the Friends of Edgar’s Field Park.
Edgar’s Field was given to Chester by the Duke of Westminster in 1892.
Once the site of a Roman quarry, it has a rich heritage and is home to a Roman shrine to the goddess Minerva. The shrine is believed to be the only example of an in situ rock carving of the goddess in Western Europe. Part of the park, which overlooks the River Dee, is designated as a Regionally Important Geodiversity Site.
Cheshire West and Chester Council’s culture and recreation executive member, Councillor Richard Short, said: “A great deal of planning has taken place locally with The Friends of Edgar’s Field Park and with the input of local residents, local businesses, Chester Youth Club, Chester Roman soldiers and students from Queen’s Park High School.
“I am really looking forward to seeing Edgar’s Field Park once this project is complete and it is extremely interesting to note that archaeologists will also be on site during the works looking for possible Roman or medieval remains.”
The park is named after King Edgar, who in 973 is supposed to have been rowed up the River Dee by eight British princes.
Richard Smith from WREN said: “We are excited to see works commencing at Edgar’s Field.
“The commitment of the council and the community in driving this project forward has been inspirational and we are very much looking forward to seeing the completed project.”
Added Steve Rogers from Friends of Edgar’s Field Park: "The Friends of Edgar’s Field Park are delighted that all the efforts of the last few years are now coming to fruition.
“We are particularly grateful for all the work put in by Edd Snell and the rest of the council’s landscape team who have done an excellent job in steering this project since the beginning in 2006.
“We look forward to the summer when the construction works in the park will be completed and the children of Handbridge can enjoy a much better quality playground.”