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Improving views and pathways at Osterley Park and House

A group work to maintain the fences by the lake at Osterley Park and House, London, with the house reflected in the water
A group work to maintain the fences at Osterley Park and House, London | © National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole

In the past few years we’ve undertaken a fair amount of work on the paths at Osterley, and on restoring the views.

Upgrading the pathways

Improvements to the pathway have made this special place even better so that everyone can enjoy it throughout the year.

We’ve improved 3.5km of existing paths and a new 500-metre section, creating a multi-use trail that starts and ends at the main car park. Refreshments and toilets are en route.

With paths upgraded to multi-use surfaces, we hope that the experience of visiting Osterley is now even richer, and we’re encouraging more local families to get outdoors and active in a safe, traffic-free, green space.

This is part of a £4.25 million national joint programme at 10 National Trust properties in England, in partnership with Sport England and a generous £150,000 grant from The London Marathon Charitable Trust.

Improving facilities

There’s now a cycle skills area for young families in a small woodland space which is suitable for children to learn to ride a bike and gain confidence. This has created a new home for our popular cycling skills programme.

We've improved the surfaces of existing routes into Osterley Park as well as installed new wayfinding signage for the cycle routes and orientation across site.

Renewing the views

The team have worked to restore vistas according to the original 18th-century plan.

Previous Lead Ranger Jeremy Dalton explains what has been done: ‘The Ranger team supports the general upkeep and improvements to the wider estate at Osterley Park and House. We have previously removed some sections of broken fencing, some scrubby field boundaries and selectively felled some of the alders along the edge of our larger lake to recreate the 18th-century vista of Osterley House from Osterley Lane.

‘This was the last part of a three-year plan to restore all designed vistas of the house from various points on the estate including the Long Walk and two locations on Osterley Lane, the original entrance to the estate in the 18th century.

‘Over time the views of the mansion from this side of the estate had become obscured. You could walk the entire length of Osterley Lane and be unaware of the mansion house. We had to notify the council about the felling of some trees in a conservation area, budget for works where contractors have been needed and plan the work around sensitive times for wildlife such as avoiding nesting season. The project has provided great opportunities for our ranger volunteers to get involved with a landscape restoration project.

‘By restoring the vistas, the house has been linked back to the estate, showing it off in its context as imagined by Robert Adam.

‘By removing selected trees from the lake edge we’re also promoting the growth of marginal aquatic plants and diversifying the flora on the estate. This vista restoration work has also tied in nicely with the improvements to pathways around the parkland. These two projects combine to improve the presentation and feel of the wider estate.

‘Felling alder trees will benefit wildlife by creating a more varied marginal habitat with varying stages of tree growth, coppice stools and more herbaceous growth along the lake.

‘The timber from these trees has been used to re-design the car park, woodchip and mark out a new path in the American garden, mulch all of our newly planted trees, and provide timber for log sales.’

Thank you

With your ongoing support, we're able to continue our vital conservation work. Thank you for helping to protect these special places.

Two women walking on a grassy area in the grounds towards the house at Osterley Park and House, London

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