Community orchard, active gym trail and new CCTV underway for Roe Lee Park

Published Tuesday 7 February 2023 at 17:46

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council are delighted to see the £85,000 transformative works begin at Roe Lee Park in Blackburn as part of the Levelling Up Parks Fund.

There is an array of project milestones planned to make maximum use of the budget, with the hopes to provide outdoor activities for residents and visitors alike within the local area.

As ash trees that are unfortunately infected by ash dieback need to be removed, the parks teams will be replacing these and also planting additional trees throughout Roe Lee Park, to create a legacy of tree stock that can mature and create a healthy ‘green lung’ within the borough.

This planting will also include the introduction of a Community Orchard on site, planned in close collaboration with the park Friends Group and overseen by them in the years to come – creating a local point for community activity and education.

Funding will also see improvements to the multi-use games area, including guidelines for football, basketball, netball and hockey.

As well as this, there will be five new pieces of outdoor gym equipment, presented as part of an active trail throughout the park and therefore encouraging visitors to make use of the entire green space. This equipment would also include disability accessible equipment, ensuring as many residents as possible can enjoy the activities.

Aging CCTV will be replaced so visitors feel safe and comfortable as they stroll through Roe Lee, helping to deter anti-social behaviour and vandalism too.

The environmental management of the site will also look to be improved, starting with de-silting the pond to improve the biodiversity of the area, with the residual material being reused within the park (as compost) – embodying a circular, eco-friendly approach.

Cllr Jim Casey, Assistant Executive Member for Environment, said:

We’re incredibly lucky to be surrounded by fantastic green, open spaces in the borough and we want to do everything we can to make the most of them.

The improvements at Roe Lee Park are a great example of close collaboration between Council and community, providing activities and facilities that the Parks Group have been keen to see.

I’m very excited to see these works underway and can’t wait to walk around the new and improved Roe Lee Park. A big thank you to all those involved with the funding application.

Jason Walker, Chairman of the Friends of Roe Lee Park, who has been heavily involved with the planning of the works, said of the funding:

We welcome this much needed funding and look forward to all the works being completed so park users can start to use and enjoy.

This funding success highlights Roe Lee Park as a destination park and safeguards the parks future for generations to come.

The new exercise area and community orchard will be a fantastic addition. Parks and green spaces help to improve urban air quality, which is good for both our health, wellbeing and the planet’s health.

The Parks Fund, allocated by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, aims to increase access to quality green spaces in urban areas and ensure pride within local places.

As well as improvements to Roe Lee Park, funding has been allocated for investments at many other local green spaces across Blackburn with Darwen, including Blacksnape Playing Fields and Witton Park.

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