This month of renewed lockdown it’s easy to focus on what we can’t do, and how limited the experience is of some of the things we still can enjoy. But parks and green spaces are a notable and precious exception to that, and several of Wyre’s have been successful in the national Green Flag Awards.
The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for their management across the United Kingdom and around the world.
Four of Wyre’s parks have collected an award including Poulton’s Vicarage Park, Hawthorne Park in Thornton, Wyre Estuary Country Park in Stanah and Fleetwood’s Memorial Park.
I have been a regular visitor to the Wyre Estuary Country Park over the years. For some time I was a volunteer ranger there working alongside the full time staff to keep the area tidy and well maintained. These days I tend to walk up the west flank of the river / estuary bank as far as the interesting named ‘Burglars Alley’ at Fleetwood and back. In these covid times the path is generally reassuringly wide, and the further from the car park you go the quieter it generally gets.
It’s an interesting mix of vistas on this walk. Initially it’s caravan sites and then the chemical works but then as the trees melt away to the right there are spectacular views of the drumlins of Over Wyre and the larger Bowland Fells beyond. To the north the Lake District fells can be seen as the river cedes into Morecambe Bay. There is always a variety of birdlife to be seen on the sands, and in recent years the relative silence can often be broken by the characteristic cronk of a pair of Ravens.
Alternatively heading south out of the car park a pleasant couple of miles past Wardley’s Creek and Hambleton takes you round to Skippool. Even if you have never explored this part of the Fylde you may well have seen pictures of the boats and jetties here as it’s a popular spot with local landscape photographers. Either way on retracing your steps you can enjoy takeaway drinks from the café when you get back to your vehicle.
Memorial Park is likely to be well known to many readers of these pages either as Fleetwood residents, or because it has been a hub for the Spare Parts adjunct to Tram Sunday some years. It has always been a therapeutic place and in covid times the wide paths and open spaces facilitate social distancing. Lottery funding has further enhanced what was already a popular and attractive asset of the town.
Those are my experiences of two of the feted green spaces, why not get out this month and see them for yourself. As Councillor Simon Bridge, Street Scene, Parks and Open Spaces Portfolio Holder at Wyre Council, says: “Over the last few months our parks have been more important to people than ever. In lockdown and throughout this time of worry they provide a space for residents and visitors to enjoy nature, take a walk, play with their families, get active and just enjoy being outside.”
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