Bradford's parks are still as vital today as ever

Bradford's parks are still as vital today as ever

PARK LIFE: Rachel Taylor, third from left, with her family in Lister Park, who came from as far as as Skipton and Wakefield to enjoy the park

OVERVIEW: The pond in Lister Park

FUN TIMES: Harry Vincent, aged five, with his grandmother, Sue Vincent, enjoying a swing

SUMMER SUN: Roberts Park showing the River Aire with children playing and enjoying their holidays

PLAY DAY: Roberts Park in Saltaire is a big attraction for children

FAMILY TIME: Roberts Park in Saltaire is enjoyed by the Bellerby family. From left, Steven, Lindsay, Daniel, Darren and their family dog, Mocha.

HOLIDAY DATE: Roberts Park in Saltaire

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Bradford Chief Reporter

BRADFORD'S parks have long been a vital and much-valued part of the district's community.

This sentiment has been recognised with the number of Green Flags Awards given to them over several years.

In the latest round of the accreditation scheme, which rewards the best green spaces in the country, six Bradford parks retained their Green Flag status - Lister Park in Manningham, Peel Park in Bolton, Roberts Park in Saltaire, Harold Park in Low Moor, St Ives Estate in Bingley and Central Park in Haworth.

And it's not just the professionals who appreciate the hugh standards of the district's open spaces.

Rachel Taylor, 40, from Steeton, regularly visits Lister Park with her family for a day out.

"There is a lot to do for children of different ages. The park gives them the open space and the freedom to enjoy themselves,” she said.

Daughter Emma, 13, agreed: "It’s good for using my skates and good for the little ones.”

Lister Park has now won the Green Flag award for 13 consecutive years and the quality of its play area is one aspect that has helped it to achieve this.

Jack Taylor, six, said: “It was really good fun and I climbed up right to the top of the climbing frame.”

Also enjoying the park and its facilities was Sue Vincent, 51 from Wibsey who visited with her daughter and grandchildren.

"This is the best park and the best play area in the city. We like the pond, we like the lake, we use the gardens. It always feels safe and the kids like it too," she said.

The park has been used by the public since 1904 when Samuel Cunliffe Lister sold Cartwright Hall and it grounds to Bradford Council at a reduced rate with the proviso that it would create a public park and art gallery for the people of Bradford to enjoy.

"The park has been a haven for us," Mrs Vincent said.

"We come at least once a week in summer. Bradford has got some great places - you just need to put in the effort to get to them."

Several of the Green Flag parks have benefitted from substantial investment since the millennium which has dramatically improved them for visitors.

Lister Park had a £4 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund which was spent on a restoration project ending in 2002.

The traditional Victorian features that made the park so popular in the 19th century were restored, including the boating lake and the pavilion.

A new band stand and play area were also built and an Indian inspired Mughal water garden was created - becoming one of the main attractions.

Since its restoration a Friends group has been protecting its splendours.

This revamp was held up as an example to help secure funding to restore Roberts Park in Saltaire.

The park was part of Sir Titus Salt’s vision for his model village of Saltaire and was opened in 1871. A multi-million pound Heritage Lottery Fund grant helped restore the park to its former glory in 2010.

The park is another popular destination for families today, including the Bellerbys and their dog Mocha.

Lindsay Bellerby, 40 said: "We’ve cycled from Rodley. It’s a nice park; they’ve got the barge that sells coffee and ice cream."

Marie Stout, 41, from Guiseley added: "We have travelled quite a long way to come to Roberts Park because it is the best in the area.” She had come with her friend and their children to enjoy a cost effective day out: “The playground is good for children of different ages. It’s a good open space to run around and play games in and it’s all free, you don’t have to spend money."

Jacky Cooper, 43, added: "We can sit here, have a cup of tea and watch our kids play."

The access to the canal and River Aire that Roberts Park provides make it an excellent meeting point for people wanting to explore the local area.

Nicky Stables, 48, from Saltaire , said: "It is a nice place to meet up with the dogs. With the canal and river to explore there are plenty of walks."

Councillor Andrew Thornton, the Council’s Executive member for Environment and Sport, feels the Green Flag awards are proof that the city is making great use of its parks.

"This award recognises and highlights that people across the borough are benefitting from green spaces of the very highest quality. It also reflects the hard work of Council staff," he said.

He said the standard of the parks was key to what the Council was trying to achieve in Bradford.

"It’s really, really crucial that we have high quality park spaces for the public to use. We want to make the best possible use of all the green spaces," he said.

Parks across the city have a long history of providing fun and entertainment for local residents - Peel Park hosted its first gala in 1853 - and this summer is no exception.

Cllr Thornton said: “"There are all kinds of events taking place this summer in our parks. Several of the Friends groups run galas, many thanks to all the volunteers."

Some of the highlights this August include Cycle in the Parks events taking place across the city and activity days - which include inflatables, sports and team-building activities.

Comments (8)

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5:17pm Sun 3 Aug 14

Out of site says...

Why are most of the parks a no go area to the white population?
Why are most of the parks a no go area to the white population? Out of site
  • Score: -19

5:23pm Sun 3 Aug 14

Robin of Loxley says...

Out of site wrote:
Why are most of the parks a no go area to the white population?
Who told you that ?

Your mother ?
[quote][p][bold]Out of site[/bold] wrote: Why are most of the parks a no go area to the white population?[/p][/quote]Who told you that ? Your mother ? Robin of Loxley
  • Score: 23

5:39pm Sun 3 Aug 14

Out of site says...

Robin of Loxley wrote:
Out of site wrote:
Why are most of the parks a no go area to the white population?
Who told you that ?

Your mother ?
Wake up smell the coffee or wander round peel park even in the day,clown.
[quote][p][bold]Robin of Loxley[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Out of site[/bold] wrote: Why are most of the parks a no go area to the white population?[/p][/quote]Who told you that ? Your mother ?[/p][/quote]Wake up smell the coffee or wander round peel park even in the day,clown. Out of site
  • Score: 1

6:10pm Sun 3 Aug 14

tinytoonster says...

Robin of Loxley wrote:
Out of site wrote:
Why are most of the parks a no go area to the white population?
Who told you that ?

Your mother ?
always wrong to bring someone's mother into it.
they are not a no go area, just get the odd stare in surprise.
probably just the same if reverse situation.
[quote][p][bold]Robin of Loxley[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Out of site[/bold] wrote: Why are most of the parks a no go area to the white population?[/p][/quote]Who told you that ? Your mother ?[/p][/quote]always wrong to bring someone's mother into it. they are not a no go area, just get the odd stare in surprise. probably just the same if reverse situation. tinytoonster
  • Score: -5

8:04pm Sun 3 Aug 14

northern pig says...

The parks that have been accredited are the main parks in Bradford and district.However the smaller community parks are neglected and unloved,for instance the grass in my village park,is left so long between cuts,it is impossible for the kids to play ball games on and when it is cut,it is like a meadow thus still unplayable.So councillor Thornton,wants to do a bit more research on the state ALL the parks in Bradford and district, before he starts patting himself on the back.
The parks that have been accredited are the main parks in Bradford and district.However the smaller community parks are neglected and unloved,for instance the grass in my village park,is left so long between cuts,it is impossible for the kids to play ball games on and when it is cut,it is like a meadow thus still unplayable.So councillor Thornton,wants to do a bit more research on the state ALL the parks in Bradford and district, before he starts patting himself on the back. northern pig
  • Score: 3

9:30pm Sun 3 Aug 14

Class_War says...

Unfortunately, Bradford's Public Parks are more vital today, as people are going to need somewhere to erect tents due to being evicted. Homelessness has increased dramatically as a result of Tory Welfare reforms, and the doomed Universal Credit has cost Billions ££s and isn't even halfway near being workable, let alone fully implemented. Peoples' lives are being wrecked by the ego of IDS and the scheming greed of unelected ex-Banker Billionaire and cross-Party Bureaucrat, Lord Freud. Cameron hasn't the guts to sack IDS, and Miliband hasn't the Political will or bottle to even mention the fiasco that is IDS's DWP. IDS blatantly rides roughshod over the Laws of this land, believing himself to be above the Law, as he has demonstrated on numerous occasions, defying High Court rulings to share FYI requests, for instance. The man is a tyrant who must go!
Unfortunately, Bradford's Public Parks are more vital today, as people are going to need somewhere to erect tents due to being evicted. Homelessness has increased dramatically as a result of Tory Welfare reforms, and the doomed Universal Credit has cost Billions ££s and isn't even halfway near being workable, let alone fully implemented. Peoples' lives are being wrecked by the ego of IDS and the scheming greed of unelected ex-Banker Billionaire and cross-Party Bureaucrat, Lord Freud. Cameron hasn't the guts to sack IDS, and Miliband hasn't the Political will or bottle to even mention the fiasco that is IDS's DWP. IDS blatantly rides roughshod over the Laws of this land, believing himself to be above the Law, as he has demonstrated on numerous occasions, defying High Court rulings to share FYI requests, for instance. The man is a tyrant who must go! Class_War
  • Score: -10

11:52pm Sun 3 Aug 14

cheeky1 says...

Why are the travelers still in Wibsey Park after more than a week! Don't feel like a safe and friendly place to me! And with all the rubbish and mad car riding round it's NOT! And will my council taxes be paying for the clean up after there gone?
Hope they do a good job cleaning up!
Why are the travelers still in Wibsey Park after more than a week! Don't feel like a safe and friendly place to me! And with all the rubbish and mad car riding round it's NOT! And will my council taxes be paying for the clean up after there gone? Hope they do a good job cleaning up! cheeky1
  • Score: 8

11:35am Tue 5 Aug 14

cheeky1 says...

Well its Tuesday a the travelers are still in Wibsey Park! As is all the poo under the nature walk! If my dog cr#pped under the trees like what they have done I know the council would have spent money sending a ranger out to get me! Wasting money but that's Bradford council!
Also if anyone was driving their cars on the park field like the travelers have been doing the police helicopter would have been out! But no just leave them to it! Driving round like something possessed, churning up the field!
I walk my dog on the field and have picked up loads of bottles from the playing fields...where they play footie....and kids can run about freely!
But not anymore! Wibsey Park wasn't the best park,and it didn't have a green flag! But it was okay! Now what has it become....a tip! And under the trees a sh#thole!
I just hope that council do a good job of cleaning it up! And maybe the people who use Wibsey Park will keep up to it! And we could win a green flag!
Well its Tuesday a the travelers are still in Wibsey Park! As is all the poo under the nature walk! If my dog cr#pped under the trees like what they have done I know the council would have spent money sending a ranger out to get me! Wasting money but that's Bradford council! Also if anyone was driving their cars on the park field like the travelers have been doing the police helicopter would have been out! But no just leave them to it! Driving round like something possessed, churning up the field! I walk my dog on the field and have picked up loads of bottles from the playing fields...where they play footie....and kids can run about freely! But not anymore! Wibsey Park wasn't the best park,and it didn't have a green flag! But it was okay! Now what has it become....a tip! And under the trees a sh#thole! I just hope that council do a good job of cleaning it up! And maybe the people who use Wibsey Park will keep up to it! And we could win a green flag! cheeky1
  • Score: 0

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