High praise for city’s Prince among parks
Sefton Park has been ranked among the best parks in the country.
The 235-acre park, created on land bought by the council from the Earl Of Sefton, has been reclassified by English Heritage from a Grade Two Star to Grade One.
Among the reasons for the promotion are the fact that little has changed in the park – nicknamed in its early days the Hyde Park of the North – since it was first opened in 1872, by Queen Victoria’s son, Prince Arthur.
It is one of the public spaces in the UK to introduce French style into parks, after the competition to design it was won by Edouard Andre and city man Lewis Hornblower.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “I am delighted that English Heritage have reclassified Sefton Park.
“It recognises the investment that has gone into restoring, maintaining and improving the site in recent years.
“Sefton Park has and always will have a special place in my heart as I used to spend long summer days there when I was a lad, and subsequently many hours there with my own children.
“We are absolutely committed to attracting more people into our parks, which is why we have introduced pedalos back on to the lake, borrowed money to upgrade the roads and made it one of the focal points for the hugely successful Liverpool International Music Festival.”
Sefton Park is rarely out of the headlines. In the last week it played host to more than 100,000 people, who visited it for the Liverpool International Music Festival.
But in recent months a row has erupted around plans to sell of ‘The Meadows – a patch of land on the other side of Sefton Park Drive – which the council wants to see turned into housing.
Campaigners argue it is actually part of the park, but the council class it only as “incidental space”.
The city’s Liberal Democrat group has criticised the council for seeking licensing permission for alcohol to be sold at events that could attract up to 40,000 people.
But the council has played down the likelihood of that permission ever needing to be used to that extent.
Mayor Anderon’s lead member for parks, Cllr Peter Mitchell, said: “More than 100,000 people spent four fantastic days in the park enjoying wor-class entertainment as part of Liverpool International Music Festival last month. We want to hold more events in our parks and open spaces across the city, giving more people a reason to enjoy the beautiful open spaces created by our forefathers.”
Wavertree’s Botanic Park was also upgraded – to a Grade Two Star – as part of the review.