Work could start in the spring on a £4.2 million project to regenerate the grounds of Lews Castle.
A £3.15million contract has been advertised to test the market for the main first phase of the project.
Iain Maciver of The Stornoway Partnership, which is leading the project with Western Isles Council, said: “It’s about restoring and safeguarding the built environment.
“If we don’t do this work, some of the historic elements of the built environment will continue to deteriorate and could be lost.
“We’ve got two obligations. The first is to preserve and we want to bring it all back into use. The second is interpretation activities and trying to increase footfall into the public park. It will be a great resource for all age groups and the more we can get people using it, the stronger the case for further funding.”
The first phase of grounds works would involve restoring the sea wall around the castle, the steps around it and the Porter’s Lodge and Boatman’s Lodge and restoring the “sunken garden” and castle terrace.
Other key renovations will involve restoring the Matheson Monument and repairing the retaining wall, as well as introducing cascading ponds and wild flower meadows in “the bowl” area and restoring paths around Cuddy Point.
Funding for the project has come from a Heritage Lottery Fund grant through the Parks For People initiative, and the project is being led by The Stornoway Partnership and Western Isles Council.
Lews Castle grounds cover more than 665 acres of woodland, parkland and gardens associated with the castle. It is popular with walkers, joggers, families and as a venue for outdoor summer events.
The grounds were originally laid out in the 1850s by Sir James Matheson and have been in community ownership since 1923.
The grounds are an fine example of a mid-to-late Victorian ornamental and estate landscape, with elevated views over Stornoway and beyond to the sea.
Carriage drives and an extensive network of paths provide access through and around the grounds, creating numerous circuits and providing a variety of vantage points.