The iconic stepping stones of Fairhaven’s Japanese Gardens are currently being raised this week as the hard landscaping work of the restoration continues. The Japanese Gardens were one of the beautiful original features of Fairhaven Lake (see photograph below), but to much local dismay were covered over in the 1980s. Their restoration to their former glory is a key component of the current major upgrade aiming to conserve and restore Fairhaven’s heritage buildings and landscape which is underpinned by a £1.5 million National Lottery Heritage Funding Grant.
Currently, to allow the stepping stones which allow access to the Japanese Gardens to be raised, the water level in that part of the Lake has been lowered. Whilst this work is in action, boat hire will not be available.
The Japanese Garden is also soon to be replanted. A Fairhaven Restoration Project spokesperson said that they are creating the planting plan for the garden. Initially, they will test which plants do well – and the finished restored garden will be well worth the wait!
Charlie Richards, Senior Project Manager at Fylde Council explained, ‘We have excavated the original Japanese Gardens which were covered over sometime in the 1980’s. All the original stonework was intact and in the same place that it was originally before being buried. We have built a viewing platform on the west side of the gardens which is adjacent to the old Second World War battle stations and have created accessible pathways circling the gardens so that everybody can enjoy them.’
He continued, ‘The works undertaken this week have been to raise the stepping stones so that they correspond with the optimum lake level as this is where the lagoon is fed from. The Japanese Gardens will be planted by the new gardening team at Fairhaven over the next few months. The water level is lowered at the moment in order for the contractors to raise the stepping stones. It will remained lowered this weekend as the tides aren’t sufficient to top the lake up however we have sufficient tides next week. My estimate is that the lake should be at its ‘normal’ level by Tuesday 21st September.’