Park field hopes to turn green into gold

Bedlington's Gallagher Park has just been given Queen Elizabeth II Fields in Trust status and Malcolm Robinson (right) Chairman of the Bedlingtonshire Development Trust with the plaque at the field joined by George Webster-Chairman of Friends of Gallagher Park with Irene Webster.
Bedlington's Gallagher Park has just been given Queen Elizabeth II Fields in Trust status and Malcolm Robinson (right) Chairman of the Bedlingtonshire Development Trust with the plaque at the field joined by George Webster-Chairman of Friends of Gallagher Park with Irene Webster.
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A PLAYING field in Bedlington has been voted as one of the top five parks in the country up for a national award.

Gallagher Park is in the running for the Most Loved Field award organised by Fields in Trust, which believes that parks, sports fields, playgrounds, bicycle trails and nature reserves should be at the heart of local communities.

The deadline for nominations has now passed and the winner will be announced at an award ceremony on Thursday, November 29, at the Lord’s Cricket Ground in London.

Malcolm Robinson, chairman of Bedlingtonshire Development Trust, said he is delighted with the number of people who have voted for the park.

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported us and voted for Gallagher Park,” he said.

“And apologies to everyone in my address book who had to put up with the constant haranguing and cajoling as I tried to eke out every vote possible.

“Being asked what sort of level of support I would be content with and replying well into three figures, more likely four, I was laughed at.”

Don Earley, Fields in Trust regional manager for the north east, said he is also impressed with the number of residents who want to back their favourite park.

He said: “We’ve been absolutely thrilled by the response to the Love Your Field campaign.

“I want to thank the residents of Northumberland for their enthusiasm for their local protected park, Gallagher Park.

“Fingers crossed for the outcome.”

Northumberland County Council has been working with the trust to designate three new Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) fields, including Gallagher Park, to protect much-loved public spaces from future development.

Briardale Road playing field in Bedlington and the Meggies Burn site in Blyth were also given QEII status and entered into the competition.

Coun Alan Thomspon, executive member responsible for highways and neighbourhood services at Northumberland County Council, said: “Green spaces such as this are invaluable to local people of all ages.

“Designation of QEII fields will mean those areas are protected for future generations to enjoy, and winning this competition could mean they gain some national profile too.”