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The 19th century stable yard

The 19th century stable yard
NTPL Zoë Colbeck

Friday, 23 September 2011

Turf out the tarmac!

A few weeks ago we told you that the area outside Morden Cottage had been re-landscaped to restore the original turning-circle. The area has been seeded with grass and now makes a pleasant, green addition to the view.

We are now creating another new area of grass by removing the path adjacent to the access road (near the secondhand bookshop), as shown in the photo.

The path by the bookshop is removed, NTPL/Jon Whitehead

When the landscaping work for the Heart of the Park project has been completed, there will be an overall reduction of 46 square meters of hard standing.

This is beneficial in several ways: not only does grass look nicer than tarmac and offer a better environment for wildlife, but it also plays an important part in reducing the flood risk in this area adjacent to the river Wandle. Grassy areas absorb rain rather than causing the water run-off associated with paved or tarmac surfaces and, in the event of a flood, assist the water to soak away.

Meanwhile, to the rear of the stable yard, the area is being cleared and landscaped to create another path to the site, as well as a new cycle shed (with living green roof!) and a new outdoor area where visitors will be able to enjoy refreshments from the stable yard café.

The landscape around the air source heat pump is cleared, NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst

In addition, when the work is complete, and the builders’ cabins are removed, local “Merton” varieties of apple and pear trees will be planted. The purchase of the trees has been kindly funded by Copella, the apple juice company.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Getting plastered!

Most of the interior walls of the stable yard buildings have now been finished with two layers of lime plaster - a base coat and a finish coat.

Bags of lime plaster NPTL/Jon Whitehead

The production and use of lime plaster dates back hundreds of years. The dry mix consists of slaked lime (calcium hydroxide) and sand, or other fillers. After water is added, the plaster is applied to the walls. Lime plaster has several advantages over cement-based mortars. Less carbon dioxide is generated during its manufacture and it also absorbs carbon dioxide during the curing process. It is relatively flexible, which is useful in older buildings where the walls may adjust their shape over time.

A base coat of lime plaster has been applied to the wall on the left NPTL/Jon Whitehead

In other HOP Project news, the renovation of the waterwheel in the River Wandle has been completed and you can now see what it looked like when it powered one of the two snuff mills at Morden Hall Park.

Exciting times for the Wandle, which has just been named one of the 10 most improved rivers in England and Wales.

The renovated waterwheel NPTL/Jon Whitehead