Award nomination for Baylis Park

Published: 22 August 2017

A project which transformed a muddy pond into an attractive space for wildlife and park visitors has been nominated for a Living Waterways Award.

Slough Borough Council and its contractor Amey worked on the Baylis Park pond restoration project in 2015/16, investing around £80,000.

During the project, the pond was drained, cleared of silt and rubbish, and new banks, islands and trees were added.

A number of other improvements were made, including:

  • resurfaced paths
  • replanted beds, borders and walled rose garden
  • new seating, toddler play equipment and gym apparatus
  • CCTV cameras
  • repaired and refurbished war memorials
  • tidier Lido walled garden
  • improvements to entrances.

Amey’s landscape architect Steve Handley entered the project into the Living Waterways Awards competition in March.

The project has been shortlisted for the restoration and historic environment category, which recognises excellent restoration or conservation projects, or work to preserve historic waterside structures.

Councillor Joginder Bal, cabinet member for environment and leisure, said: “I am delighted we have been nominated for an award which recognises the months of hard work on the Baylis Park pond project.

“It has transformed the park and made it much more attractive for visitors who enjoy seeing the wildlife on the pond. Well done to everyone involved.”

To carry out the work, the project team had to temporarily stop water flowing from Salt Hill Stream into the pond, while leaving just enough water for the ducks, geese and fish.

Resident-led Slough Neighbourhood Action Partnership (SNAP) had campaigned for the pond to be given some much-needed attention.

The project was judged in June by an independent assessment panel of experts drawn from the environmental, engineering, architecture and regeneration sectors. The judges met the project team, members of SNAP and members of the public, while also spending time looking at the pond and the historic walled gardens.

Councillor Bal added: “We have a lot of fantastic parks and open spaces in the borough and any projects which make them more attractive to visitors are welcomed. Even being nominated is great recognition for the work of everyone involved.”

After being told they were through to the finals, members of the project team and community were filmed for a short film about the project, which will be shown along with the film clips from the other 18 finalists at the awards ceremony in Birmingham in September.