Generations work together to gain green flag

Published on: Monday, 28-July-2014

Generations working together to breathe new life into an area of Stockbridge have been recognised with a top award.

The Littlewoods of Stockbridge Village group working alongside the Stockbridge Junior Rangers have transformed a formerly neglected piece of land into a welcoming, attractive community open space.

Now this achievement has been recognised with a prestigious Green Flag Award. Handed out by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, Green Flags recognise and reward the best parks and green spaces across the country and are a sign to the public that the space is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.

George Jewell from the Littlewoods group said: “The first few years were really hard work – we moved more than 40 abandoned cars and tonnes of rubbish. When I look around the place now, I’m amazed at what we’ve achieved.”

As well as securing numerous grants for improvement works, the group established the Stockbridge Junior Rangers, a children’s nature study group, which has proven incredibly popular with local young people. They even won a national Sunday Observer Ethical Kids Award for their work.

The Littlewood accolade is one of four new Green Flags awarded to Knowsley parks this year and brings the total number of Green Flag parks in the borough to 16 – among the highest on Merseyside.

Other parks picking up the award for the first time are: Webster Park in Kirkby, Ten Acre Pits, Huyton and Court Farm Woods in Halewood.

Like Littlewood, community involvement has been key to the successful rejuvenation of these open spaces. Volunteer ‘friends’ groups have worked alongside the council to clean up the parks and bid for funding for improvements.

Knowsley’s other Green Flag parks are: Eaton Street, Prescot, The Pasture in Cronton; Jubilee Park, McGoldrick Park, Sawpit Park, King George V Playing Fields and Court Hey Park in Huyton, as well as St Chad’s Gardens and Millbrook Park Millennium Green in Kirkby, Halewood Park and Henley Park, Whiston. The impressive gardens at Fox’s Bank Cemetery in Whiston have also earned the graveyard Green Flag status.

Cllr Eddie Connor, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Community and Culture: said: “We are delighted that 100% of the 16 parks we entered for the award were successful in gaining Green Flags. We would like to commend the dedication and commitment of the many ‘friends’ groups and volunteers who have worked with us to create such great green spaces. This is great news for our residents who can enjoy some of the finest parks in the country.”

There are 52 ‘Friends’ volunteer groups making a vital contribution to Knowsley’s parks. View our Youtube video to hear some of their stories.