Bold Forest Park

Bold Forest Park | Interview Rick Rogers
The Mersey Forest presents The Elf & Fairy Fair

A new future for st Helens

St Helens is a town with a population of over 100,000 in the county of Merseyside, in England’s northwest. To the south of the town is a mixed area with open spaces, agricultural land, woods and semi-derelict industrial sites. With the support of the European Pure Hubs programme, the next step of a dramatic transformation is taking place here, it all started towards the end of 80, dubbed “from wasteland to woodland”, and centred around the development of the Bold Forest Park for the benefit of all involved.

Mersey Forest

Bold Forest Park is part of the Mersey Forest, an area covering some 126,000 hectares controlled by 7 different local authorities. The area around St Helens was formerly known for its coalmines, clay pits and chemical industry.

Over the past few decades, a large number of these companies have shut down, with the loss of thousands of jobs. The decision was taken to allow a large part of the abandoned areas to return to nature and to mainly opt for woodland and soft recreation, in collaboration with landowners, farmers and other residents

ambitious project

Bold Forest Park is an ambitious project in which a wide range of partners are involved. 60% of its finance comes from the private sector and 40% from various governments, including the European Union.

The main aims of the project are to protect nature, to support local entrepreneurs, and to transform this barren wasteland into a diversified area that also provides space for recreation and education. Some 290 hectares of land have been cleaned up and 618,000 trees have been planted, creating 124 hectares of new woodland. Over 16,000 children and 5,500 adults were involved in this



A striking landmark in Bold Forest Park is the slim, 20 metre high sculpture of a head. This artwork by Jaume Plensa came about in collaboration with the local community, with the area’s ex-mineworkers being particularly closely involved. They rejected a previous design – the statue of an huge mineworker’s lamp by the same artist – because they felt it focused too strongly on the past.

They enthusiastically chose “Dream”, a gigantic head of a girl with her eyes closed, mounted on a round plinth in the shape of the typical badge once worn by the miners, as if she is dreaming of a bright future for everyone in this beautiful area. Because “if we only dare to dream, then anything is possible”, says the artist.


For more information/Voor meer informatie:







St Helens is a large town in Merseyside, England. It is the largest settlement and administrative centre of the Metropolitan Borough of St Helens with a population of just over 100,000, while the larger metropolitan borough had a population of 176,843 at the time of the 2001 Census.

»

Hub St Helens

Bold Forest Park is an evolving idea to develop the woodlands and businesses of south St.Helens as a place to visit and enjoy, bringing local jobs and prosperity.

Location:  The Forest Park area (see map) straddles the M62 between Junctions 7 and 8. At its heart are areas of community woodland planted at the former colliery sites of Colliers Moss, Clock Face and Sutton Manor. The proposed park boundary also takes in woodland at Wheatacre, Maypole and Griffin Wood and a wider area of urban fringe farmland.