Bedwellty House and Park in South Wales has now been returned to its former glory thanks to a three-year, £6 million restoration project.
Working for John Weaver Contractors and also with architects Austin-Smith:Lord, UPM Tilhill was the main landscape contractor for the site which was where Aneurin Bevan, founder of the National Health Service, started his political career.
The initial restoration activity by UPM Tilhill involved remedial work to the park’s trees. Many of the trees had to be completely removed because of their very poor condition and neglect over the years and surgery work was carried out on others.
Within the park there are a number of significant Grade II listed structures including the icehouse, the bandstand, the boundary stone, the war memorial and the world-famous Great Exhibition block of coal – 15 tonnes hewn in a single block. All these help to attract visitors to the park, in addition to other historically important features such as the long shelter, kitchen garden, fishponds, grotto and cast-iron fountain.
Sadly all these features were overgrown and none of the original planting had survived. The project Architect Sophie Teague, from Austin-Smith:Lord, developed a new scheme to reflect the park’s original design. By making reference to old photographs and drawings, the new planting scheme carried out by UPM Tilhill has helped return the park to its former glory.
Established more than 60 years ago, UPM Tilhill is a national company operating from a network of offices throughout the UK, with a turnover in excess of £100 million.