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Alexandra Park, Hastings 

Alexandra Park was laid out by Robert Marnock in 1878-80. It extends through the centre of Hastings and is grade ll on the Historic England register. acta worked with Hastings Borough Council on the preparation of conservation and management plans for a £3.4 million Heritage Lottery Fund scheme. Subsequently we prepared:

  • A survey of trees and shrubs for their landscape and wildlife value
  • Planting designed in the Gardenesque style of Marnock incorporating the best of the surviving twentieth-century planting
  • Specification for reinstating the planting beds
  • Specification for management of the park
  • Ecological audit of the whole of the site including the semi-natural inland gill woodlands
  • Management plans for the semi-natural areas.

Client – Hastings Borough Council

  1. A substantial amount of the work on implementing the plan was concerned with retaining and managing the best of the existing individual shrubs and trees while re-establishing shrubberies and borders faithful to the original landscape structure
  2. Opening–up views framed by distinctive tree groups quickly transformed the park
  3. The park occupies the valley floor near the centre of Hastings. The banks that rise up to the surrounding roads are one of the main locations for varied planting and seasonal colour
  4. Here, a very colourful established rhododendron was the focus for new complementary planting 
  5. The middle section of the park has a very good collection of specimen trees which form a wooded setting to the main road into the town from inland
  6. Bold splashes of colour can be achieved with ordinary, robust plants  
  7. The park was developed in conjunction with large villas on the new roads around it, so that there is a distinct period character to the whole area
  8. The park is a truly urban one in that it threads through the town and is accessible and visible at very many points. The main buildings, including the bandstand shelter and bowls pavilion share a common style and appearance
  9. The most successful areas of planting have a dense jumble of textures. Here there are Euphorbia, Fatsia Cotinus. Polygonum  and Allium