“This must be one of the best parks in the country."
That was the view of BBC reporter John Maguire as TV viewers saw Towneley Park, Burnley, in all its glory this morning.
The park and its historic hall formed the picturesque backdrop for a live broadcast on this morning’s BBC Breakfast Show. The BBC was looking at the way managing Britain’s parks has changed in the light of national funding cuts.
Burnley Council has been recognised national for its innovative approach to managing not only parks, but grass and woodland and other open areas.
The item on Burnley included interviews with Coun. Bea Foster, Executive member for leisure and culture, parks development officer Sean Kerr, and Maureen Frankland, chairman of the Friends of Towneley Park who spoke about the role of volunteers in helping to carry out projects, fund-raising and supporting their local parks.
Consultation with the public has consistently highlighted that contact with nature and opportunities to see wildlife are what people most appreciate about parks.
The council is taking a more ecological approach to greenspace management, including in our traditional formal parks, to help save money, create more interesting parks, increase biodiversity and to engage the community:
Coun. Foster said: “Burnley’s parks are a wonderful asset and something we are all be proud of. They provide a place to enjoy the quiet, take part in sports and other activities, spend time with your children and friends, or simply just as a place to wander and clear your mind.
“We need to make sure we look after our parks, not just for our generation but for generations to come, and that means we have to be more imaginative in the way we properly manage them.”