A MAJOR investment of £250k into Withy Grove Park in Bamber Bridge has been rubber-stamped by cabinet members.
The cash boost will fund the creation of a new network of footpaths and cycle paths in the more natural environment at the west end of the park.
There will also be a new pond, additional trees, interpretation boards and the potential for a number of pieces of public art – all of which could raise the park to a standard worthy of a Green Flag Award.
Approval of the scheme comes hot on the heels of news that South Ribble parks are among the best in the UK, and they proved it by scooping three prestigious Green Flag Awards – the gold standard for parks and open spaces.
Worden Park – the jewel in the borough’s crown – earned its 21st consecutive Green Flag, having won an award every year since the scheme began (the only park north of London to boast such a claim). In addition, Longton Brickcroft Nature Reserve, and Hurst Grange Park in Penwortham also retained their Green Flags. In fact Hurst Grange received its highest-ever mark following an inspection by Green Flag judges – a credit to the officers and friends groups who work hard all year to keep the park in great condition.
Councillor Graham Walton, cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services and Street Scene, said: “We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the improvement work we carry out at Withy Grove Park will mean that by 2019 South Ribble will have four Green Flag-standard parks to its name.
“South Ribble has a well-earned reputation as the garden of Lancashire, with families travelling from far and wide to spend time at its award-winning parks. We recognise this is something we do well, and are committed to keeping standards high so our parks can be enjoyed for generations to come.”
More than 83 per cent of people asked said they loved the borough’s parks and open spaces, in a recent resident survey carried out earlier this year. And one of the main factors contributing to South Ribble being named “best place to live in the UK” following research by a Channel 4 TV show, was access to fantastic parks and green spaces.
DID YOU KNOW?
South Ribble has 12 different friends groups who muck in with everything from plantings to litter picks at their local parks. If you’d like to join your local friends group, visit www.southribble.gov.uk/friends or ring 01772 625625 to find out how you can get involved.