has indeed started on Lesnes Abbey. The old style stone built visitor centre is
to be replaced by a glass and steel structure (see below) totally out of keeping with the 1178 Abbey.
Bexley’s latest magazine makes the most of the four million pounds coughed up by the Heritage Lottery Fund implying they paid half. Nothing could be further from the truth. Bexley council must have spent some money while lobbying for the funds to be made available but there is no doubt where the real money is coming from.
The claim that plants, trees and wildlife will be unaffected should be taken with the usual pinch of sodium chloride.
Sparrows are said to be in serious decline but in my garden not far from the Abbey I see twenty or more at a time. Where will they go at night when the yew tree hedge at the end of the formal garden is torn out?
And why is it to be torn out? Well at one public meeting it was said that it was to stop young children getting lost behind it which sounds like something made up on the spur of the moment.
But no, it is listed as an official reason for destroying the wildlife habitat.
The exotic trees dotted around the park carefully chosen for the beautiful variety of autumn colours and planted 80 years ago are not completely safe. Any that are in the way of the new works will come down. Perhaps they will be conveniently found to be diseased.
Whether you love them or regard them as vermin, foxes are wildlife and their lairs around the pond are to be built over. It’s hardly “wildlife will be unaffected’. Bexley’s magazine is degenerating into a propaganda sheet as politicians struggle to maintain the illusion of prosperity while making savage cuts to services.
First sign of activity at Lesnes Abbey (click photos to enlarge) and impression of the new ‘carbuncle’ visitor centre.