The Grade II* listed bridge, which was vandalised in March 2018, will be rebuilt using sections of the original stonework, which were recovered from Clumber Lake and specially created stone, provided by Croft Building and Conservation.
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Phase one of the restoration project is getting underway following approval from Natural England to ensure wildlife habitats remain protected. During phase one of the restoration project, a floating pontoon will be installed on the surface of the lake, allowing the bridge to remain open to pedestrians and cyclists, while repair work is carried out. Volunteers will be on site to answer questions as work progresses.
Beth Dawson, General Manager, said: “We are thrilled to announce the start of the restoration project to the much-loved ornamental bridge and are pleased to be able to offer visitors the opportunity to explore the underneath of the bridge as work takes place. We have been overwhelmed by support from our visitors since last year’s act of vandalism and look forward to seeing the bridge restored over the coming months.”
Project manager, Robert Brough added: “Over the last 18 months, as a result of quieter areas within the park, there have been sightings of rare birds, including great grey shrikes and woodcocks across the heathland and deer now spotted along roads and verges. After much consideration, the decision has been taken to keep the bridge closed to vehicles to allow rare wildlife to thrive in the park, as well as improve security within the park.”