Some more wonderful aerial photos from Steve Samosa taken over at Bold Forest Park
Since 1991, The Mersey Forest has brought together a range of partners to transform an area of St.Helens previously dominated by colliery spoil heaps into a burgeoning Forest Park and natural asset.
South St.Helens has faced significant social, economic and environmental challenges since the demise of the local coal mining industry, however, the creation of a cluster of community woodlands spanning 220 hectares, including Sutton Manor, Clock Face Country Park and Griffin Wood, has dramatically improved the image of the area and offers a future source of economic development.
Landowners including The Forestry Commission and St.Helens Council are working together with the local community as part of The Mersey Forest to harness the collective potential of the maturing woodlands under the banner of Bold Forest Park.
The woodlands are already proving a popular local resource, attracting 200,000 visitors per year. In an area where health and wellbeing are important considerations, the Forest Park provides a valuable space for walkers, cyclists and families.
Local residents are also helping to manage their woodlands. For example, the Friends of Griffin Wood hold monthly task days which are open to all. The Forest Park also hosts events such as the Elf and Fairy Fair, a family festival organised as part of the Access to Nature project by The Mersey Forest Team and partners which attracted 1500 people to Sutton Manor.
Bold Forest Park is among the furthest advanced of the five Forest Parks within The Mersey Forest. The ambition is now to develop it to attract visitors from further afield – in turn helping to support local businesses.
St.Helens Council is working with the local community to create an Area Action Plan for the Forest Park, and partners are exploring the potential of outdoor adventure activities on the sites as well as collaborating on standardised signage between the woodlands.
This vision has been reinforced by the creation of the Dream sculpture, which was the focus of a Channel 4 art project and has become a local landmark.
The sites that make up the Forest Park are:
Brickfields, Chester Lane (under development)
Clockface Country Park, Gorsey Lane
Colliers Moss Common, Broad Lane
Griffin Wood, Gorsey Lane
Maypole, Gorsey Lane
Sutton Manor, Jubits Lane
Wheatacre, Gorsey Lane
Trees at Griffin Wood, Maypole, Sutton Manor and Wheatacre can be dedicated to loved ones through the Dedicate a Tree scheme. Click here for more information. Visited this Forest Park? Let us know what you think! Send your reviews and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some steep but mostly well surfaced paths.
How to get there
The Mersey Forest team: 01925 816217