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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 April 2007, 12:27 GMT 13:27 UK
Park restoration project on show
A tour of a lake being de-silted in Priory Park, Reigate
Visitors were told about a new island being constructed in the lake
Members of the public have been given a chance to see for themselves how the multi-million pound refurbishment of a Surrey park is being carried out.

Priory Park, in Reigate, is being restored to its 18th Century heyday.

A tour of the project was organised on Friday, with visitors able to see archaeological excavations on site and the de-silting of the lake.

The park is staying open during the works, which are set to be completed in about a year's time.

Reigate and Banstead Borough Council has received 4.2m of lottery funding towards the restoration.

The plans include restored gardens, the re-introduction of tree-lined avenues, a new children's play area, sports facilities and a pavilion housing a cafe.

Archaeological excavations at Priory Park, Reigate
Archaeological finds pre-date the time the park is being restored to

A council spokeswoman said a group of 50 people were shown around the works site on Friday.

They saw archaeological investigations which have uncovered the walls of 18th Century buildings buried under the site for the new pavilion.

The visitors were also able to walk on the bed of the park's empty lake, which has been de-silted ahead of environmental improvements.

Aquatic planting and new banks are intended to improve conditions for the lake's wildlife.

The council spokeswoman said: "Following the success of this event, we are hoping to make the tours a regular feature throughout the project as it progresses."

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