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Start of work on project to revive park

Brought to you by the News Post Leader.
Brought to you by the News Post Leader.

Work has started on the first stage of a multi-million pound scheme to restore Hirst Park in Ashington to its former glory.

Last year, Northumberland County Council was successful in securing a £2.29million Parks for People grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

It will ensure that the flower park is rejuvenated and landscaped, a new play area developed and greenhouses and buildings restored to provide much improved public spaces.

The National Lottery grant will be supported by contributions from the county council, Ashington Town Council and Ashington Leisure Partnership, bringing the total project value to £2.7million over the next five years.

Now the first stage of tree works is getting under way – involving the removal of a number of trees which are dead, dying, dangerous or in poor health.

This work is due to be complete by the end of March.

Replacement tree planting will take place next winter and the work has been carefully timed to avoid bird nesting and bat roosting seasons.

Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services, said: “The restoration of this famous park is excellent news for local residents and the Ashington area.

“While we never want to remove trees, it’s important those that are dead, diseased or dangerous are removed, with healthy specimens planted to replace them.”

The Hirst Park Revival project will also deliver a new formal garden, a growing zone and community allotment and a play zone, among other features, as well as a community performance and interpretation space, telling the industrial heritage story of the area, on the former site of the Woodhorn monument.