Is it time to save Liverpool’s Parks?

With many of Liverpool’s parks and green spaces being used to develop housing, can we do more to protect the ones left? Our reporter Danielle Wilson investigated fly tipping and vandalism in two Liverpool parks.

Woolfall Meadow Heath in Huyton is a popular space used by dog walkers and college students alike. Yet on Sunday 10th February, a viewing platform overlooking the River Alt and its Reed Gardens was destroyed. The culprits burnt a hole in the bottom of the platform, and broke the fence, exposing the drop into the shallow water below. The spot was popular place for families, many people expressing their grief at the unneeded damage caused.

Damage caused to Woolfall Meadow Heath viewing platform

Sadly, this is not the only thing destroying the park for residents; fly tipping has become a regular problem. Piles of rubbish line the fences of homes, from used mattresses to bin bags full of god knows what. With no one to pay the council to pick the rubbish up, it’s left to rot.

Woolfall Meadow Heath is a lifeline to some residents. Tales of older people who sit on the park’s benches and chat to anyone who walk past, and an elderly man who leaves flowers and plaques in memoriam of his late wife, shows how much the park means to people.

“Save Huyton Parks” is one Facebook page trying to bring awareness to the neglect that the park faces. Member of the page, Joyce Connelly, said; “There’s about two or three major vandalism cases a year, but the dumping of rubbish is ongoing.”

Fly tipping just beyond the tree line in Woolfall Meadow Heath

“The wildlife is struggling with the amount of rubbish in the park. If you look in the River Alt, the banks are full of bottles, cans, ring-pulls, all kinds.”

Bluebell Wood in Kirkby is another green space that is neglected, fly tipping has become a weekly occurrence. Hazardous waste was dumped in the woods in September 2018; posing a threat to both the wildlife, and residents who venture through the woods. The Environment Agency had to be called to clean up this toxic mess.

Disputes between Knowsley Council and Liverpool City Council surrounding who owns Bluebell Wood, has led to delays in the clean-up of rubbish.

The dumping of rubbish has impacted the nature, and as long as this continues, the ever-decreasing population of foxes and rabbits in the areas effected will keep dropping.

Social Media Officer for Knowsley Green Party, and owner of the ‘Friends of Bluebell Wood’ Facebook page, Michael Dooley, said; “The fly tipping of toxic waste and other fly tipping has almost certainly had an impact on local wildlife.”

Fly tipping in Bluebell Wood

“Trees have been damaged by fly tipping of industrial waste and soil contaminated”

Mr Dooley was encouraged to stand as Cllr for the Green Party in the town of Kirkby after the lack of action against fly tipping in the area. He is disgusted by the behaviour of the people who do fly tip, stating that they do not understand the importance of green spaces.

“I’d say to the people doing this that they are the lowest of the low, and their selfish behaviour is ruining our communities green spaces out of pure laziness.”

“They wouldn’t like toxic waste dumped in their back garden.”

Both of these Facebook pages, and individuals stand against the neglect and damage that green spaces are subject to. Here’s to hoping that Liverpool’s parks and green spaces are soon defended against these needless and selfish attacks.

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