West Lancashire Borough Council is about to embark on an exciting project with external partners that will bring significant environmental and recreational benefits to Tawd Valley Park and surrounding local communities.
The aim of the project is to create a family-friendly environment with good quality facilities and management. Establishing and promoting links from the park to the local community, the town and wider environment will also form part of the scheme.
The project will involve carrying out improvement work on a 2km stretch of land, starting from Skelmersdale town centre following the River Tawd in a northerly direction. Organisations involved include: Groundwork, Lancashire County Council, Environment Agency, River Douglas Catchment Partnership, West Lancs and CVS.
The Council has allocated £25,000 to produce a masterplan for the park which will involve assessments to identify existing facilities and habitats within the park and an extensive public consultation exercise to gather information for future requirements. The Environment Agency is making a further contribution of £15,000 to support the process and improve the water quality of the River Tawd. The masterplan will then be used to seek funding to make the proposals a reality.
Community engagement is an integral part of the project and key to its success. The Council will therefore be consulting in the near future with local communities to seek their views about how the park should develop. They will also be looking at forming a 'Friends of Tawd Valley Park' group to assist in the future management of the project,
Councillor Yvonne Gagen, portfolio holder for Leisure, said: “This will be a really exciting scheme for Tawd Valley Park and the local community and we want everyone to get involved. So please keep an eye out for further updates on the scheme and how you can take part.”
Local environmental charity Groundwork currently runs two volunteer projects that are making a huge difference to the Tawd Valley: Love My River and Green Leaders.
Mike Crowther, Groundwork’s Director for Sustainable Communities, said: “This is fantastic news. We look forward to continuing to work alongside our partners and local people as part of our long term commitment to improving the local environment in the Tawd Valley.”
Projects already underway in the park include footpath work and plans to create a history trail and cycleway.