A review by Hounslow Council into Dukes Meadows in Chiswick, has seen plans to improve and enhance the park as a major sports and recreation site gather pace with consultation set to follow.
Formerly part of Devonshire Estate, Dukes Meadows is made up of 230 acres of open riverside land either side of the railway line that runs from Waterloo to Hounslow and on to Reading. It is a main site for major sports and recreation facilities, hosting an estimated 1m people, both local and from across London and beyond, visiting the park every year.
It also boasts a number of historical features, including a pump house which is still used to feed the water level at nearby Chiswick House. It is also the venue for the finish of the annual Oxford versus Cambridge Universityboat race.
Over the years, Dukes Meadows has played its part in being a venue for sports and recreational use, with a number of clubs promoting the site for football, cricket, rowing, golf and tennis. Through the works of the Dukes Meadows Trust, there are also water and adventure play areas with a kiosk and a successful farmers market. The site is one of the most important wildlife refuges in urban west London for a number of habitats and species.
Key priorities were identified in the review by the council as enhancing the landscape character of the site, improving sports facilities and ways in which it can play a part in providing a venue to for residents to use to improve public health and well-being.
The review also looks at plans that would reconnect the Thames path by exploring the provision of a towpath bridge and restoring the nature conservation areas.
Following the review, the council will now look at all options available that can be developed further with further consultation set to take place later this year.
Councillor Corinna Smart, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Leisure, Hounslow Council, said: “We are pleased to be moving into the next phase of what is a very exciting plan for Dukes Meadows.
“The aim is to make Dukes Meadows a sustainable, high quality green open space, which includes a state-of-the art sports hub and will open up the use of the river and riverside for residents, visitors and the community as a whole, for generations to come.
“There is so much that we can do at Dukes Meadows, it is a valuable asset to us and we aim to make Dukes Meadows one of our best facilities in the borough.”
For further information on Dukes Meadows, visit the Dukes Meadows webpage