Staff and supporters at Wirral’s unique Port Sunlight River Park have two reasons to celebrate.
The 70-acre wildlife haven and community park built on a former rubbish tip at Bromborough Docks has been shorlisted for a Charity Times award.
The park has also celebrated a landmark: three years of being open to the public as a space to exercise, relax, bird watch and enjoy views across the Mersey to Liverpool’s iconic skyline.
Port Sunlight River Park was transformed from a landfill site by national land management charity the Land Trust and is now managed on a day-to-day basis by locally based charity Autism Together.
This unusual community project, which has reclaimed a former landfill site and given residents access to this part of the River Mersey for the first time in a generation, won both a Wirral Third Sector Award and a national Third Sector Care Award in 2016.
Its third birthday event was attended by over two thousand visitors, many of whom brought picnics and took part in family-friendly activities such as pottery painting and following trails around the park. There was also music, a birthday cake, face painting and the chance to meet birds of prey.
Autism Together’s Park ranger Anne Litherland said, “To be celebrating our third birthday as a thriving and truly inclusive community project is fantastic. To be recognised by the very prestigious Charity Times awards is the icing on the proverbial birthday cake. Everything we do here is possible thanks to the commitment of the Friends of Port Sunlight River Park, our volunteers and partners and we are very grateful to all of them.”
Alan Carter, Director of Portfolio Management at the Land Trust, said, “Port Sunlight River Park continues to thrive for both people and wildlife and is a shining example of the importance of accessible natural space for communities. Our thanks to Anne and all the team who work so hard to look after the park and provide opportunities for locals to get involved.”