The Becconsall Heritage Park project has been launched in Hesketh Bank with a tree planting by local school children, members of the park’s board and Edge Hill University.
The Heritage Park is located at the site of the former brickworks in the heart of Hesketh Bank. The park will be an open-air living museum that explores all aspects of the area’s heritage, including its Viking history and natural beauty.
The first stage of the park is scheduled to open in summer 2023. The space will then be developed in stages over several years working with Edge Hill University, museums and many other partners to create a fun, educational experience for the public to enjoy.
Spokesperson for the board of the Heritage Park, Graham Fairhurst, said: “Thank you to the children from All Saints School who launched this incredible project. Over the years they will be able to watch as the trees they planted grow alongside the Heritage Park.
“The park itself will explore the rich history of Hesketh Bank, including its agricultural heritage and its time as a major brickworks and a maritime hub. It will also link to improved countryside access, to the England Coast Path and the River Douglas corridor. The educational opportunities this will provide will benefit schools across Lancashire, Liverpool and Manchester. We can’t wait for it to open to the public.”
One of the key aspects of the park will be curriculum-linked activities for primary schools developed by Edge Hill University’s sector-leading education experts creating new opportunities for local schools, colleges and the University’s trainee teachers.
The educational programme will emphasise the importance of learning outside the classroom, starting with natural environment field studies and expanding to include all aspects of the area’s social and industrial heritage with appropriate curriculum links.
Lorraine Partington, Head of Partnership Development at Edge Hill, said: “This is a really exciting project for local schools and the wider community. By being involved from its inception we will be able to offer some incredible educational opportunities for local young people to learn more about Becconsall’s unique heritage as well as the natural world in their own backyard.”
Graham Fairhurst added: “Edge Hill will be a fantastic partner for the Heritage Park, they have excellent links with local schools and their education expertise are unparalleled.”
Becconsall Heritage Park is also working with museums including The Atkinson in nearby Southport, The Harris in Preston, National Museums Liverpool and The Brickworks Museum in Hampshire to create a historically accurate and engaging experience for visitors.
Initial funding for the work with primary schools has been provided by Wild Escape, a project that aims to use art and creativity to inspire hundreds of thousands of children to respond creatively to the threat to the UK’s natural environment.
Much of the initial capital funding has come from the Key Fund which supports new enterprises that are creating new jobs, and reinvigorating communities in the North and the Midlands.
For more information about courses at Edge Hill University, visit the website www.edgehill.ac.uk.