Work has begun on Gilbert White & The Oates Collections ambitious renovation project which will be undergoing an exciting programme of improvements to the museum and visitor facilities. The first stage of this project is to improve car parking in the village, and extend the existing car park situated behind The Selborne Arms pub. As anyone who has visited before knows, parking in Selborne is not always easy and we hope to develop the car park so that visitors to the Museum will be able to park much more easily.
East Hampshire District Council has generously donated £25,000 towards the improvement of the car park which started on the 3rd October and is likely to re-open towards the end of November. To mark the occasion Councillor Glynis Watts and Chair of Trustees at Gilbert White & The Oates Collections Dr Rosemary Irwin met to survey the work so far. ‘We look forward to welcoming visitors to Selborne and to Gilbert White and the Oates Collections, and with many more parking spaces we hope there will be no more worries about not finding anywhere to park’ said Dr Irwin.
The new car park which forms part of the Museum’s larger Heritage Lottery funded project has also benefitted from £8,500 from Selborne Parish Council. The enlargement of the Museum’s car park will provide an additional 30 spaces for both the Museum and village. It will then be re-surfaced and landscaped with native trees, hedging and shrubs to create a natural screen for the cars. The Museum has been working closely with ecologists and other environmental experts to ensure that the plans do not disturb the local wildlife, or beautiful scenery that the village is famous for.
However this does mean a few weeks of disruption, with the back section of the village car park closed for the first 6 weeks of this 10 week project. There will still be spaces to park in the lower section behind the pub. In January 2017 work will begin to develop the museum’s stable yard into a new visitor entrance, with better catering facilities and the restoration of Gilbert White’s brew house. For more information on where to park on your visit to the Museum or the Heritage Lottery Funded development plans see www.gilbertwhiteshouse.org.uk.