Friday, 23 October 2015

Why Beacon Park in Lichfield is
the favourite park in the Midlands

Summer flowers in Beacon Park earlier this year (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Patrick Comerford

I am back in Lichfield this evening [23 October 2015], staying in the city centre overnight after a working day in Birmingham as a trustee of the Anglican mission agency Us (formerly USPG) and with Us volunteers from dioceses in the Midlands.

Last month, I asked whether Beacon Park in Lichfield could be Britain’s favourite park. Beacon Park was in the running to be named Britain’s favourite park this year. Beacon Park is one among a record-breaking number of 1,582 parks and green spaces that have achieved a prestigious, international Green Flag Award that recognises and rewards the best green spaces.

It was announced yesterday [22 October 2015] that Beacon Park has come first in the Midlands and twelfth in “Keep Britain Tidy’s People's Choice award.”

After being awarded its fifth consecutive Green Flag by Keep Britain Tidy in the summer, Lichfield District Council asked residents to get behind Beacon Park and to vote for it to win the People’s Choice award.

The honour went to Victoria Park in London, but Lichfield District Council is still celebrating after Beacon Park came twelfth out of more than 1,500 parks throughout Britain.

Councillor Andy Smith, Lichfield District Council's cabinet member for leisure and parks, said: “We’re all thrilled that Beacon Park has been voted the top park in the Midlands and twelfth in the country. It’s such a special park and we know how much locals and visitors enjoy the gardens, playground, sport facilities, woodland and programme of events.”

The People’s Choice competition is organised by the Green Flag Award scheme, which recognises and rewards the best green spaces in Britain and beyond.

Woodland walks in Beacon Park, Lichfield (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Beacon Park dates back to the late 1800s, and is set in more than 70 acres of beautiful formal gardens and open spaces. The park underwent extensive renovation in 2010 and 2011. The project, led by Lichfield District Council and Lichfield City Council, helped to restore many of the park’s historic features as well as developing new facilities.

The programmes and events that attract thousands of visitors to the park include the Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park.

The park’s facilities include tennis, bowls, football, and an 18-hole par 3 golf course, as well as a large playground and an enclosed play area for under-11s. In summertime, Beacon Park is alive with activities, including crazy golf, mini cars, inflatables, donkey rides, pedaloes on the pool … and more.

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