Dr Mary Worrall, UK
Birkenhead ParkDesigned by Sir Joseph Paxton and opened in April 1847, Birkenhead Park was the first publicly funded park in the world.

The creation of Birkenhead Park represented a significant stage in human development as a response to the poor health conditions brought on by the industrial revolution, creating a green oasis in an otherwise urban landscape.

The concept was to create an idealised countryside landscape of open meadows, naturalistic woodland belts and beautiful lakes, which are shaped to appear as sinuous rivers with views across to iconic features such as the Roman Boathouse and Swiss Bridge.

Birkenhead Park has influenced the design of urban parks across the World, and was the inspiration for the most famous urban park in the world – Central Park, New York.

In 2004, Birkenhead Park underwent an £11.3 million renovation scheme which saw the park’s famous Swiss Bridge, Boat House and Grand Entrance restored, along with new bridges, paths, and railings. Much of the original planting has also been restored, reinstating the park’s status as a national treasure.

Today, Birkenhead Park is a Grade I listed historic landscape and conservation area, with many Grade II and Grade III listed buildings and structures. It is recognised as a site of excellence by Green Flag and holds the prestigious Green Heritage Award.

Birkenhead Park will host the World Urban Parks Europe Region and Birkenhead Park Congress in October 2017.

Birkenhead Park’s Future Planning
The Birkenhead Park team has developed an ambitious plan which aims to enhance and secure the park for the future. The team in Birkenhead Park intends to make another bid for Heritage Lottery funding and will also be looking for other sources of finance to carry out the projects within the Birkenhead Park Master Plan.

The Master Plan is currently available for comments at: http://www.wirral.gov.uk/leisure-parks-and-events/parks/birkenhead-park.