We're helping to provide some virtual green space whilst you stay home this spring by Bringing Parks to You! Our next stop brings us to Greater Manchester and to Bury - immerse yourself in a trip to some of their local parks and green spaces.

 

Park gates

The Park Gates

We've been inviting you to tell us where the Bringing Parks to You tour should visit and the biggest response we've had so far said we just had to visit Bury, in particular Burrs Country Park. This trip through the park gates demonstrates why!

 

Park map

The Park Map

Arriving at the park map once again it's time to explore the parks and green spaces of Bury. You told us so much about Burrs Country Park - can you locate it on the map?

 

Park pavilion

The Park Pavilion

Our latest trip to the virtual park pavilion is to meet the Friends of Burrs Country Park! You told us about this stunning 36 hectare green space in overwhelming numbers and it was clear how important it is to the community. The Friends of Burrs Country Park was formed by a group of local residents who are passionate about the space and, as well as fundraising towards projects and management of the space, the group runs a rock painting group (Burrs Stones) and book hiding scheme (Burrs Books) to encourage families to visit the park. Hear what one park user said to us about why they love the space so much below, and you can find out more about the Friends of group on their website! Pictured, with thanks to the Friends of Burrs Country Park, are members of the group receiving their UK's Best Park 2019 Much Loved certificate last year.

Friends of Burrs Country Park

"Burrs is a park for everyone, young and old. There's the industrial heritage with remains of the mill from the cotton era as well as several sculptures which are included in the Irwell Vale sculpture trail; the wheel sculpture at the entrance to the park and the amazing stone circle. The Lamppost Cafe is dog friendly and serves lovely coffee and amazing cakes. My grandchildren love hiding and finding Burrs Stones".

 

Park bench

The Park Bench

On our final day in Bury we hear about a public meeting in 1883, at which a commitment was made to establish four public parks for the use of the people of Bury. Clarence Park (featured in below video), Openshaw Park, Whitehead Park and Manchester Road Park each provided much needed green space around the industrial town of Bury. Having four public parks opened at once must have been transformative for the local population who had somewhere close to home for children to play and adults to exercise, play sport and relax.

The parks were financed by wealthy industrialists, with contributions from Lord Derby, the Lord of the Manor, a public subscription, and, generous contributions of land and money from a local benefactor, Mr Thomas O Openshaw. All four parks were officially opened by the Prince of Wales and Duke of Clarence, HRH Prince Albert Victor, on 21 July 1888.

  • Whitehead Park, originally known as Elton Recreation Ground, was renamed to honour Sir Henry Whitehead, who funded bandstands at both Whitehead Park and Clarence Park. He said at a presentation, "In the days of high pressure, there is little of the hope and joy of youth left in children. They were brought up in the streets - in the gutter, and they were taken from the gutter to work half time in the mill and then instead of being allowed to play they were dragged by the School Board into school."
  • Clarence Park, previously known as 'Walmersley Road Recreation Ground', is the largest urban local community public park in the Borough, located just over a mile from Bury town centre.
  • Openshaw Park was named for T.O. Openshaw, from a family of nearby Primrose Hill who were woollen manufacturers and great patrons of the local community.
  • Soon after Manchester Road Park opened in 1889 a new bowling green was added. Today the bowling green and putting green are managed and maintained by the "Welly Project" of BEST, the Bury Employment Support and Training, a supported employment project assisting disadvantaged and disabled customers into employment, and meaningful activities.

Whilst activities in the park may have changed, the underlying principal of local, accessible green spaces - where people can exercise, relax and spend time with friends and neighbours – remains as important now as when the parks were established by their Victorian benefactors.

 

A Park a Day

A Park a Day

We're brightening up your Instagram feed with a park a day as our tour makes its way around the UK - head over to @fieldsintrust and give us a follow!





 

Journey

Discover more of Bringing Parks to You!

We hope the latest stop on our Bringing Parks to You tour here in Bury brought a little virtual joy in these challenging times as we are all reminded what valuable and precious places our local parks and green spaces are. Next up we return to Scotland and to Glasgow before carrying on around the UK. Discover more of Bringing Parks to You and let us know where you think the tour should travel to!

Continue the journey

 

Information

About Fields in Trust

Fields in Trust is an independent charity with over 90 years’ experience protecting parks and green spaces. We work with landowners, community groups and policymakers to champion the value of our parks and green spaces to achieve better protection for their future at both local and national level.

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