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Report to flag up why park lost out
5:29pm Wednesday 28th August 2013 in News
IT is loved as a cultural hub showcasing everything from massive music festivals to backwards running races, but something is lacking at Heaton Park.
For Europe’s biggest urban public park has lost out on a flagship award.
While all 12 public parks in Bury have been given Green Flag Status for 2013, Heaton Park, which falls under Manchester, has not.
Each year, Keep Britain Tidy judges visit parks across the country and rate them on how welcoming they are, how clear the signage is as well as health and safety, the quality of facilities and litter management.
The eagle-eyed monitors also rate how well parks are promoted, how well the community is consulted on what goes on there and how valued buildings and monuments are preserved.
David Blood, of Besses, is the chairman of Friends of Heaton Hall.
The hall closed to the public in 2011 after Manchester City Council, which runs the park, cited budget constraints.
Mr Blood said: “The park has changed in the past couple of years; anyone who visits can see that.
“We see it as a tragedy that the hall is closed, though we are thankful that the council has put aside some funding to maintain it.
“It will be interesting to see why the park has not got the award.”
It is understood Heaton Park losing out on the plaudit did not go down well with council leaders.
However, judges from Keep Britain Tidy will not say what the park did wrong.
It will file a report to the council by the end of August explaining why, but will not provide The Bury Times with a copy.
A spokesman said: “These reports are distributed during August and provide the strengths and recommendations to help sites make future improvements.”
The council’s leisure representative, Cllr Rosa Battle, said: “This is obviously disappointing and we are now waiting for official feedback.
“The park has so much to offer.
“It’s a beautiful and well-maintained site which is extremely popular with families because of its play facilities and the animal centre.
“In fact, only seven months ago, it was the first park in Manchester to be accredited with country park status and is one of only nine sites in the North West to have been given this accreditation by Natural England.”
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