Dukes Meadows has been one of the focuses of Hounslow’s parks improvement programme, recognising it as an important asset along the River Thames.
Published: Tuesday, 23rd April 2019
An estimated 2,000 people came to enjoy the park and participate in a community festival that celebrated the recent Oxford vs Cambridge boat race. The feedback we received was that it was a great success: “A great family event”; “well organised”; “thoroughly enjoyed it”; “well done, will come again.”
Dukes Meadows has undergone a number of improvements over the few years, through the development of a masterplan to improve the park. The masterplan is focused on improving sporting facilities on site, the public realm, particularly access to the Thames Path, improving wildlife habitat and bio-diversity. Including improvements to parking and traffic management to create a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists.
A traffic scheme has been proposed as part of the masterplan following a number of consultations and has been given planning permission to help regulate use of the site. A charging scheme to encourage visitors not to use cars but public transport, walk and cycle is under consideration. Hounslow Council is committed to reinvesting income generated by the parking scheme back into Dukes Meadows. Improvements to date include:
- Improved Thames Path for better access
- Works to improve the nature reserve to help maintain this unique environment with the support of the London Wildlife Trust
- Installation of bat boxes
- Tree management improving river views
- Repairs to the historical wall by the bandstand
- Management of invasive species such as Japanese knotweed
- Installation of CCTV which has drastically reduced fly tipping
- Traffic measures at Dan Mason Drive and Riverside Drive which has improved congestion
- The creation of a shared event calendar on site to improve management of events
- Improved enforcement to regulate the use of the site
- Change of grounds maintenance regimes to improve landscape and access
Over £2.5m has already been secured from external funding for improvements on site, £1.5m of which will be used to improve the sporting facilities. The masterplan also proposes improvements to the connectivity of the Thames Path with significant funding already secured towards the construction of a new pedestrian bridge under Branes railway bridge to improve access for cyclists and pedestrians. Work to manage traffic on site and improve the pedestrian and cycling experience is underway.
Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council said “I am very pleased with the masterplan which has been developed over several years and that we are now seeing tangible improvements at Dukes Meadows. One example being the investment by the RFU along with Chiswick Rugby Club for the installation of a new artificial pitch with floodlights. We have also received significant funding from charities like The London Marathon Charitable Trust.
"The scheme has acted as a catalyst for all of the users of the park whether sporting, leisure or other pursuits to come together with a common focus, it has not been without its challenges and not everyone is happy with the changes but the council is committed to improving this fantastic asset in Hounslow for our residents