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Heritage Lottery Fund - Future Proof Parks

Groundwork has partnered with Fields in Trust and National Youth Agency to deliver 'Future Proof Parks', a Heritage Lottery Fund programme - part of the £10m 'Kick the Dust' initiative - that aims to get more young people interested and involved in preserving their local park and greenspace heritage. 

The three-year programme will engage 880 young people across the UK in the West Midlands, East of England, West of England, North West and North East, to learn more about their local historic park heritage with the overall aim that at least 180 young people will join their local 'friends of' park groups and volunteer to preserve the local spaces that matter to the communities they live in. 

In order to do this successfully, the initiative will also work with 60 'friends of' park groups to give them the tools, encouragement, and support to get more local young people involved in their work and to see the benefits of cross-generational working. 

The programme also aims to create various crowdfunding campaigns to help raise money for the local parks and to test new ways of generating income as well as engaging the local community.  

The parks

The project will focus on historic parks and heritage landscapes in five 'hub' locations across England.  In each hub young people will be supported give their time and talents to support local groups and heritage organisations attached to the following sites:

North East

  • Chase Park, Gateshead - it was the residence of several prosperous local professional gentleman, industrialists and merchants, including the Leaton and Wilkinson families. The earliest evidence of people living there is 1714.

  • Elba Park, Houghton, Sunderland - a community park on the site of the former Lambton Cokeworks. The site has a long industrial history being a mine, a brickworks, a tile works and finally a cokeworks

  • West Park, South Shields - the park is one of the oldest in South Shields created in 1895.  

  • West Park, Jarrow, South Tyneside - the park was given to the people of the town of Jarrow in September 1876 by Lord Northborne and Lady James.

North West

  • Rivington Terraced Gardens – originally created as private gardens for the industrialist Lord Leverhulme by the renowned designer Thomas Mawson.

  • Winckley Square Gardens, Preston – one of the finest Georgian squares outside of London, containing several listed buildings of architectural importance and a public park.

  • North Blackpool Pond Trail, Bisham, Blackpool - has some very important flagship ponds for wildlife, mostly over 200 years old. 

  • Amberswood, Wigan - established on the site of a former colliery (Amberswood Colliery/Moss Colliery) and later 20th-century opencast mining. 

 West Midlands

  • Hanley Park, Stoke-on-Trent – one of the early works of Thomas Mawson and containing a range of historic features including bandstand, pavilion and terraced gardens.

  • Burslem Park, Stoke-on-Trent - the park opened in 1894 and is Grade II listed. 

  • Silver Jubilee Park, Sandwell & Dudley - opened in 1934, Silver Jubilee Park was created to mark the 25th year of the reign of King George V.

  • Barnford Park, Oldbury - after industrial expansion destroyed much of the green countryside that once surrounded Oldbury the park was opened in 1916 after the land was presented to the Borough of Oldbury in 1915 by Mr. Albright of Albright and Wilson. 


  • Stoke Park – the historic estate of the Berkeley family, recently used by the NHS as a mental health hospital, and now redeveloped by the Stoke Park Restoration Trust.

  • Blaise Castle – a historic landscape used as a 'pleasure park' by a succession of private owners containing a folly castle, deer park and Blaise Castle House Museum.

  • Trooper’s Hill –  home to the iconic Grade 2 listed chimney at the top of the hill in East Bristol which may date from as early as the eighteenth century.

  • Eastville Park - a large Victorian park with an ornamental lake, woodlands and wildflower meadows situated two miles north-east of Bristol city centre.


  • Cedars Park, Broxbourne - original site of a now ruined 16th Century royal palace, protected and improved through a Parks for People award.

  • Howard Park and Gardens, Letchworth Garden City – created as a central part of Ebenezer Howard’s vision for the world’s first garden city.

  • Harlow Town Park, Essex - Harlow Town Park was designed by Dame Sylvia Crowe and opened in 1957.  

  • Memorial Park, Luton - Lady Ludlow presented the Park to the people of Luton on the 12th June 1920 in memory of her son Alex Piggott Werner who was killed in action during the First World War (1916).  

If you would like further information, please email or click here to visit the Kick the Dust website.