Silverdale Country Park in Newcastle-under-Lyme (managed by Groundwork WM on behalf of national charity the Land Trust) was named by the Land Trust as its “Most Improved Space – 2013”.
The Land Trust, which has over 50 parks and open spaces around the country, presented Silverdale Community Country Park with the award in recognition of the enormous benefits that the park is starting to make to the local community and its increasing wildlife value.
Euan Hall, Chief Executive of the Land Trust, commented, “The park is on the site of the former Silverdale Colliery and not too many years ago was derelict. Thanks to funding from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) the park was restored and given to the Land Trust in 2010. At that stage there was still a lot of work to do both improve amenities and more importantly get local people involved. We appointed Groundwork West Midlands to manage the site for us and led by a brilliant ranger, Andrew Hunt they made massive strides in turning the park in to a much loved asset to the local area.”
The park is now used for educational visits, health activities such as guided walks and held its first ever Gala Day in June. Perhaps most impressive however are the amount of volunteering opportunities that take place on site. Park ranger Andrew Hunt comments, “Last year an equivalent of 172 days of volunteering took place at the park. This has helped create numerous physical improvements such as tree planting, habitat creation and improving footpaths. However our volunteer programme also helps people learn new skills. For example as a result of the experience he gained with us, one of our regular volunteer, Glen, has gone on to find a Job working at the Trentham Estate.”
Euan concludes, “The park is going from strength to strength. However, it is only able to do so because the HCA provided us with a lump sum endowment to manage the park long term. This enables us to give Andrew and Groundwork the resources to improve the site year on year. You can really see the value of this approach at time when cuts have affected many parks.”
We are accredited by the following organisations :-