The Friends of Balderstone Park have won a £9,150 grant from the National Lottery’s Awards For All scheme which will be match funded by Rochdale Borough Council.
The grant will be used to give part of Balderstone Park a makeover with the field at the Great Gates Road entrance. At the moment this is a boring and boggy grass area but later this year will be transformed into a colourful wild-flower meadow. This summer there will be annual wildflowers such as the bright yellow corn marigold and blue cornflowers and in future years the perennial plants such as red campion and the fluffy white flowers of meadowsweet will take over as the annuals fade away.
Chainsaw-carved wood sculptures and carved benches will be added to the area and will be hewn from trees that have been cut down from in front of Balderstone Library to make the area feel lighter and safer. Three replacement trees have already been planted in more suitable locations in the park and more will be planted in autumn.
Councillor Jacqui Beswick, Cabinet Member for Housing and Environment at Rochdale Borough Council, said “I am really happy to see another example of how council and community are working together to improve the parks in the borough. Before this project there was not a single flower in the park and this will take a virtually unusable area and turn it into a beautiful area that I am sure residents will really enjoy. Thanks again to the Friends’ group for all its voluntary efforts – we definitely recognise their contribution.
Pat Colclough, Chair of Friends of Balderstone Park, said “The Friends are really looking forward to sitting on one of the new benches in the height of summer and relaxing in the middle of flower meadow. It will be something really different in the park.
“We have been working with the Environmental Management department for a few years now and you can see the fruits of this in the improved play area, outdoor gym equipment and the new path to Great Gates Road that will enable people to get into the park more easily and for people to enjoy the new flower meadow and wood sculptures.
“We would like to thank Environmental Management for their help with the funding bid and sourcing contractors to do the works. Obviously we also have to thank the grant body, the National Lottery, and Rochdale Borough Council which provided match funding for this project.”
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