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Volunteers are passionate about parks

by Cathy Sheel

This Love Parks Week we say ‘thank you’ to the hundreds of volunteers who dedicate their time and efforts loving and enhancing Knowsley’s parks and green spaces.

Many of these volunteers have joined ‘Friends of’ parks groups who, with support from Knowsley Council, work to promote and improve the borough’s green spaces.

Their activities include helping with the upkeep of the parks through litter picking and conservation works, as well as applying for funding to pay for community events, enabling sporting activities to take place, improving green space facilities, and supporting large-scale infrastructure projects.

Knowsley is fortunate to be home to 55 passionate green space groups across the borough. They include sporting groups, allotment groups, heritage and conservation groups and ‘Friends of’ parks groups. These groups dedicate hundreds of thousands of hours every year to enhance and maximise the use of our green spaces across the borough.

Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, Cllr Shelley Powell said: “Volunteering is a great way of making a difference to the green spaces we all love, and I’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to the volunteers who make a significant contribution to our parks every day.

“There are lots of reasons to volunteer in our green spaces. You will be giving something back to your community, developing new skills, building on existing experience and knowledge, as well as meeting like-minded people and improving your health.”

If you’re interested in getting involved, please download a copy of our Green Space Volunteer Expression of Interest form, fill it in and email it to greenspacevolunteers@knowsley.gov.uk. Or you can contact the Environmental Sustainability Services team on 0151 443 2819.

Spotlight on our volunteers

During Love Park Week we focus on the important role that volunteers, ‘Friends of’ groups, associations and conservations group play in our parks and open spaces.

Here are just a few you may have heard of:

Halewood Conservation Group

Along the pathways of the Halewood Park Triangle, visitors can enjoy a scenic stroll and see the old, abandoned railway tunnels and nature at its best.

Halewood Conservation Volunteers are an active group of like-minded people who have a common interest to conserve, enhance and promote their local green space as a valuable resource for the benefit of both people and wildlife.

The conservation group meet every week on Wednesday mornings from 10am, to carry out various practical tasks such as a regular Wednesday litter pick, as well as woodland management, pond clearance, footpath maintenance, putting up bird and bat boxes and habitat creation.

For more information contact Halewood Environment Centre on 0151 488 6151.

 Friends of Saxon Green and Charlotte Pagsy, Kirkby

Charlotte’s Pagsy is a local community woodland at the northern-most point of Knowsley. As well as a pond to the west of the site, there are football pitches and play facilities on the Saxon Green public open space.

The Friends of Saxon Green was created by a small group of residents who wanted to help make improvements to the park and surrounding areas.  The Friends of Saxon Greens aim is ‘to make our community a nice, safe and respectful area to live in and that can only be done if we work together and stick together.’

For information on how to get involved with the Friends of Saxon Green contact The Kirkby Green Space Ranger on 0151 443 4395.

Friends of Littledale Meadow, Kirkby

Littledale Meadow is a local space well used by the Shevington community. The site is in walking distance of 4,100 residential properties, a school, and health centre.  The aim of the Friends of Littledale Meadow is to create a healthy and social space – and a haven for local wildlife – in an urban setting at the heart of the community.

The volunteers meet regularly and organise clean-up and litter pick events, fun days, and holiday activities for families. More recently the Friends of Littledale Meadows, the local community and Knowsley Council have worked together to bid for funding to create a welcoming, community green space, accessible to everyone with good infrastructure which benefits the community, people, and wildlife.

For information on how to get involved with the Friends of Littledale Meadow contact The Kirkby Green Space Ranger on 0151 443 4395.

Court Farm Woods Association, Halewood

Court Farm Woods has a rich history dating back to Roman times. It is also the former location of Court Farm and a brewery, with building foundations and the original walled pond still evident.

The Court Farm Woods Association creates natural habitats and maintains corridors of native flowers and trees.  The group regularly litter picks and cleans up the forest areas and green spaces as well as installing bird boxes and bird feeders.

To get involved, contact Knowsley Council on 0151 443 2482.

The Friends of Court Hey Park, Huyton

The Friends of Court Hey Park were formed in 1995 with the sole aim of promoting, conserving and help to develop the park.

The group helps organise seasonal events, takes part in conservation activities, supports environmental and habitat developments and surveys, and gets involved in tree and bulb planting.

Group meetings take place on the first Monday of each month (except Bank Holidays) at 1.30pm in the Friends meeting room in the Courtyard at Court Hey Park.  Contact the Huyton Ranger on 0151 443 4114 for further information.

Court Hey Park is also home to Incredible Edible Knowsley, a Community Interest Company (CIC) set up to grow free food for everyone.

Not only does the project produce healthy food for the community, but it brings communities together supporting each other and making friendships with local people.

Growing food together benefits people physically, mentally, emotionally, encourages healthy eating and saves money on shopping bills. Incredible Edible Knowsley also works with other services and organisations and provides support using therapeutic horticulture.

Learn more about Incredible Edible Knowsley. For further information contact Karen Mower on 07925 529585.

 Huyton Juniors FC, Jubilee Park, Huyton

Huyton Juniors FC was established in 2008 and their home is in Jubilee Park, Huyton.

The team of volunteers not only run football sessions, matches and coaching but also maintain the grassed areas, mark out pitches and host charity events.

Their focus is on providing a safe place for local children to football.  The volunteers have been working tirelessly helping to bring the park playing fields up to the standard required for Junior Football to take place.

For more information on how to volunteer for Huyton Juniors please contact them through there Facebook pages (20+) Huyton Juniors Fc | Facebook

 Friends of Eaton Street Park, Prescot

Sitting on the edge of Prescot town centre, Eaton Street Park is a peaceful oasis offering residents and visitors a recreation space, children’s play spaces, a memorial rose garden, wildflower meadow, nature path, bowling green and pavilion building.

The Friends of Eaton Street hold community events, cleansing and litter patrols and many other community-based activities, such as their tea in the park sessions every Sunday from 2pm till 4pm at the Pavilion.  They also operate a Community Food Club every Wednesday from 11.30am – 1.45pm.

Visit the ‘Friends of’ website, or for more information about regular events and activities held in the park click here.

 Friends of Stadt Moers Park

The Friends of Stadt Moers Park help to ensure the park is well maintained – clearing pathways and cycle ways – in readiness for the many local sporting events it hosts, including Parkrun each Saturday morning, Born to Run’s Tour of Merseyside and NW Cyclo-Cross.

The Friends meet in the Environment Centre on the first Wednesday of month Wednesdays: 6.30pm to 9.30pm

There are also a group of volunteers to take part in Environmental Task Days to help with conservation activities around the park and lake.  They meet each Tuesday between 10am and 12pm. Call 0151 443 2485 for more information about these events and how to get involved.

For more information about parks and green spaces in Knowsley visit our website