Work starts this week on the first stage of the multi-million pound project to restore Hirst Park to its former glory.
Last year Northumberland County Council was successful in securing a £2.29million ‘Parks for People’ grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The National Lottery grant is also supported by contributions from Ashington Town Council, the Ashington Leisure Partnership and the County Council, bringing the total project value to £2.7m over the next five years.
The funding will ensure that the Flower Park is rejuvenated and landscaped, a new play area developed and greenhouses and buildings restored to provide much improved public spaces.
Now the first stage of tree works is getting underway - involving the removal of a number of trees which are dead, dying, dangerous or in poor health. The work is due to be complete by the end of March.
Replacement tree planting will take place next winter and the work has been carefully timed to avoid bird nesting and bat roosting seasons.
The Hirst Park Revival project will also deliver:
- a new formal garden modelled on the original Hirst Park sunken garden that was lost in the mid twentieth century.
- a growing zone and community allotment with horticultural training courses to help train the next generation of gardeners and park keepers.
- research activities, public events and volunteer opportunities to engage local people to help us discover more about the heritage of the park, people and the area.
- an exciting new play zone, including a water play feature and wildlife areas.
- a community performance and interpretation space, telling the industrial heritage story of the area, on the former site of the Woodhorn monument.