Thursday, April 26, 2007

Parks Scrutiny Panel - What are our plans for the Lakes?

This session was held in Sefton Park, in the Palm House.

We had a walk round the park, two young media students joined us to get some ideas for newspaper stories they need to write for their coursework. We had a look at some of the areas that are going to be improved thanks to a big successful lottery bid. 1.5 million or thereabouts is going to be spent on the Lake, it was built well over a hundred years ago and is in need of renewal. They are fully lined but nothing lasts forever, they get silted up, the sides start to collapse, the water course changes and the water quality deteriorates.

It was truly amazing to learn that no-one in Britain or indeed in the world, truly knows how to maintain our historic lakes. So Liverpool City Council which has lots of lakes and ponds is now leading the way in working out the best way to do this. Even the specialist contractors are new to this, the company who worked on Greenbank Lake evidently were more used to canal bank work.

This could be a real feather in Liverpool's cap if the hardwork currently going in can be sold to other councils and heritage organisations across the world. I asked whether stately homes for instance knew how to manage old lakes - they don't, I asked whether other councils knew, they don't, I asked whether other countries knew, they don't.

All praise to the hardworking team who are now making this their priority.

Readers will be delighted to learn that the boat house - and ultimately boats - are coming back to Sefton Park.

And all being well, the same improvements can come to Newsham Park too in the fullness of time.

I was fascinated by the growth of the palms in the palm house, it is about 18 months since I was last in there. The staff have promised to let me have details of their top palm officer so that I can ask them to have a go at identifying my unusual palm.

The statue of Peter Pan looked lovely in its new home

Another wonderful meeting

In a fortnight we will be talking about security in parks, this is likely to be within Newsham Park, keep your eye on the council website for further details. Everyone welcome!

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