Work starts on March 9th to overhaul the Gorse Millennium Green, Gorsehill Road, New Brighton, and secure its future as an accessible green space for all to enjoy.
It was created in 1998 when local public subscriptions and donations were matched by Millennium Greens Funding to purchase and convert surplus North West Water Authority land into a pocket park.
As well as creating the park, the project also established The Gorsehill Millennium Green Trust, a registered charity managed by local volunteer Trustees. The trust is managing this work jointly with Groundwork Cheshire.
The millennium green became an attractive place that can be enjoyed by local people of all ages and abilities. As well as it being an open space, the green has ‘wild’ areas where people can enjoy nature and wildlife at first hand.
Over years the green’s infrastructure has become tired and worn. The Trustees were concerned that, while the site superficially looked nice, without a major overhaul it would become increasingly unsafe, threatening its future and making closure possible.
The work starting on March 9th will involve resurfacing footpaths, replacing a boundary fence, improving signage and interpretation, planting locally native species of shrubs and trees, and managing woodland to protect and promote the gorse habitat.
Running in tandem with the work will be programme of community events designed to increase use of the site and membership of the Gorse Millennium Green Trust, as well as inspire a young people to take on the responsibility of looking after the site.
Funding for the work is coming from The Veolia Environmental Trust, who have awarded £21,600 through the Landfill Communities Fund, and United Utilities, who have awarded £10,000. United Utilities has been working close to The Gorse over 8 months spending £1million on upgrading the reservoir on Gorsehill Road.
Rusty Keane, Chair of Trustees says, “The work will mean residents of all ages and abilities will be able to enjoy the improved green. It will ensure that it remains a safe and attractive space in which to play and discover nature.
“It is also very important that the future of the green is assured and we want to encourage people of all ages, especially young people, to take part in the practical activities to protect and improve the site.”
Gorse Millennium Green is located in a highly residential area and is a place where people enjoy the fresh air, exercise, meet others and pursue leisure activities and pastimes consistent with the shared enjoyment of the whole site.
It provides a safe area suitable for community events and celebrations that help bring the community together, such as the Queen’s Jubilee.
The Gorsehill Millennium Green Trust’s primary objectives are to:
• Develop a pocket park which the local community use – for peaceful and quiet reflection, for children and for social events and
• Preserve the native Gorse ‘wild’ space as a haven for local wildlife.
Groundwork Cheshire has worked for 30 year to make long-term commitments to supporting communities and working closely with other organisations to help improve the quality of life for people living in disadvantaged areas. We do this by ‘Changing Places & Changing Lives’.
We partner with the public, private and third sector to deliver achievable solutions to on-going problems. We strive to ensure that work we undertake is sustained past the lifetime of the funding by the legacy of community ownership.
Our approach is genuinely user led, where beneficiaries dictate and shape the direction of projects. By working directly with those communities we help them tackle; degraded and neglected open space; physical and mental wellbeing issues; lack of education; training, skills, unemployment and lack of support and activities for young people. In 2012-13, we improved 76 hectares of land for community use, with 2877 days of voluntary commitment given by adults.
The Veolia Environmental Trust