Green Flag Parks and Open Spaces
Ashton Park is over five hectares and is divided into upper and lower parks by the Wirral Way.
The park offers diverse facilities intended to meet the public’s need for both passive and active recreation.
It includes two bowling greens, grass and tarmac tennis courts, junior football pitch, recently constructed Multi Use Games Area and children’s play area for the more active and formal and informal gardens in association with a lake for gentle relaxation.
The ‘friends’ run a tea shop at weekends throughout the year and provide a quality events programme.
Rising to 231 feet Bidston Hill is one of the highest points on the Wirral. Its 100 acres of heathland and woodland contain mysterious rock carvings and historic buildings, as well as being a haven for wildlife amidst the urban sprawl.
The poor, well drained soil of Bidston supports a heathland community of plants including Common Heather or 'Ling'. Together with the coconut-scented Gorse, Silver Birch and Scots Pine trees, these four plants dominate the top of the hill where the soil is very shallow.
Linnets and Long-tailed Tits sometimes nest among the gorse while Kestrels may be seen hunting for small mammals. Green Woodpeckers often feed on the grassy areas or on the dead Silver Birch trees.
The woodland does support a good variety of birdlife such as the mouse-like Treecreeper, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Nuthatches - all birds that require some dead or decaying wood for food or nesting holes.
This brick built tower mill replaced a wooden 'peg' mill that was destroyed by fire in 1793, and was used to grind corn into flour for 75 years up until 1875. Although access was difficult for a horse and cart laden with sacks of grain or flour the top of the hill was the ideal place to catch the wind. In fact, it is believed that there has been a windmill on this site since 1596.
The Hill can be reached by bus or train (Bidston railway Station is approximately half a mile away). Alternatively a car park is situated off Boundary Road near to Tam O'Shanter Urban Farm where toilets, information and refreshments can be found, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm each day.
Brotherton Park and Dibbinsdale Local Nature Reserve
Brotherton Park and Dibbinsdale Local Nature Reserve comprises of 47 hectares of semi-natural countryside along the valley of the River Dibbin.
It is a popular area for informal recreation, providing a calm and characterful retreat for the surrounding urban conurbations of Spital and Bromborough
The reserve acts as a gateway to the wider countryside of mid-Wirral, with popular footpaths leading through the site to the rural villages of Raby Mere, Thornton Hough and Brimstage.
The Ranger's Office and Brotherton Nature Centre are situated around a pleasant courtyard at Woodslee Cottages, with public toilets available when the Ranger is on site.
There is a walled garden with a nursery for trees and wildflowers, an organic garden and composting demonstration area. There are also interpretive displays about the history and wildlife of the area.
The nature reserve provides an attractive and stimulating environment for educational visits. A wide range of activities to suit all age groups are carried out with the help of the Ranger.
For information about events and activities undertaken in the reserve, contact the Ranger on 0151 334 9851.
Central Park is the largest area of parkland in Wallasey and second largest urban park in Wirral. It is a fantastic place to visit - well used and much loved by local residents. Established in 1835, it pre-dates Birkenhead Park (1847) and Sefton Park in Liverpool (1870s).
Today the park really is a hub for the local community, so much so, it has been dubbed 'everyone's park' because it offers such a good welcome, and a wide range of leisure and sporting opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. Facilities on offer include bowling, gardening, tennis, cricket, basketball, multi-use games area, performance area, cycle way, a fitness trail and up to date play equipment.
The Wallasey Central Park Partnership are a keen and vibrant group who have had some considerable success in fund raising to implement improvements. Along the way the group provides events and volunteering opportunities for the people of Wallasey, in an around the walled garden, not forgetting their community not-for-profit facility 'everyone's cafe'.
Alongside all this activity, the park also offers a green and healthy environment within the urban area of Wallasey, with mature trees, ponds, a lake, sculptures, playing fields, allotments, a walled garden, and plenty of open grassland.
Coronation Gardens was opened in 1938 to commemorate the coronation of King George V1.
Laid out on sand dunes between Banks Road and the promenade, the Gardens originally comprised traditional, highly ornamental, seaside planting with colourful annual and herbaceous planting schemes and manicured lawns providing the backdrop to a gentle circular footpath route and bench seating.
A new landscape scheme with a central feature, seating and planting to create interest and height was completed in 2007.
Eastham Country Park
Situated on the bank of the River Mersey, Eastham Country Park contains some of the finest mature broadleaf trees to be found in Wirral.
Superb views are provided across the tidal estuary with its abundant bird life and busy shipping lanes.
Within the courtyard, situated adjacent to the main car park, visitors can find the information centre, rangers office and toilet facilities.
Picnic areas are provided on the open grassland close to the river and also within the Tea Garden, where refreshments are available.
A variety of Ranger led activities takes place in the park, throughout the year. These include guided walks, bird activity days, fungal forays and volunteer task days.
For further information contact the visitor centre on 0151 327 1007.
Hilbre Islands Local Nature Reserve
The Hilbre Islands local Nature reserve is contained within the Dee Estuary on the North west coast of England. The Dee estuary is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), a Special Protection Area, a Ramsar Site, which is a Wetland of International Importance and a candidate EU Special Area of Conservation.
The three tidal islands lying at the mouth of the Dee estuary, Little Eye, Middle Eye and Hilbre, have been designated a Local Nature reserve. Access to the Local Nature Reserve is free of charge.
For information, safe routes and tide times please contact the Ranger Service at Wirral Country Park on 0151 648 4371 (10am - 4pm, 7 days a week).
Note: There are no shops, or any fresh water on the Islands and very little shelter. Toilets are available.
Meols Park is also known as Meols Lower and Upper Greens. The Upper Green has a playground and the large grassed area with a football kick about area. The Lower Green is adjacent to the Great Meols Club and bowling green. Meols Park straddles both Greenwood Road and School Lane. There is a small football pitch with five-a-side goalposts.
The park hosts a programme of events and activities based around the local community
North Wirral Coastal Park
The North Wirral Coastal Park is 4 miles long and 200 acres in area between Dove Point at Meols and the Kings Parade at New Brighton. It runs along the coastline embracing public open space, common land and sand-dunes.
The park offers the opportunity for a wide variety of activities including cycling, picnicking, walking, jogging, ball games, bird watching and horse riding.
The North Wirral Coastal Park has 8 car parking areas, 3 toilet blocks, an extensive footpath network and public bridleways, plenty of areas to picnic, 2 refreshment kiosks (an outdoor cafe at Leasowe Common), a pitch-and-putt course next to Wallasey Beach, and bathing beaches at Meols and Moreton - both patrolled in the summer by lifeguards.
The North Wirral Coast or Foreshore is one of the country's top sites for wildlife, particularly wading birds visiting during the winter or on migration in autumn or spring; in recognition of this it has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The sand dunes of the North Wirral Coastal Park are situated between Leasowe Bay and the Gunsite Picnic Area and can also be found at Meols - within the Coastal park area.
Royden Park is a large area of parkland adjacent to Thurstaston Common, which offers a wide range of activities and facilities.
There are large open areas where children can play freely without fear of traffic hazards and families can picnic.
During the summer bank holidays model train enthusiasts run a steam powered passenger locomotive which is a big hit with kids of all ages.
Arts and crafts fairs are held during bank holiday weekends, where you can purchase items made by Wirral craftsmen and women.
Royden Park comprises over 26h of mixed deciduous and conifer woodlands, meadows, fishing mere and wetland mere.
Roodee Mere contains water all year and is open to the Association of Wirral Angling Clubs licence holders to fish.
For further information contact the visitor centre on 0151 677 7594.
Thornton Hough Village Green
Thornton Hough Village Green has won the Green Flag Award since 2004 and is the traditional ‘green’ for the attractive country village of Thornton Hough.
Thornton Hough Village Green, covering 3.3 hectares is at the hub of village life. It provides a venue for soccer, cricket, tennis and children’s play and has a picturesque half timbered, thatched roofed pavilion. Informal recreational activities such as dog walking and ball games are also very popular and locally organised events take place on a regular basis.
In 2001 Vale Park was the first Wirral park to gain the Green Flag Award. Vale Park is situated adjacent to the promenade of the River Mersey, close to the coastal resort of New Brighton.
Covering an area of 3.97 hectares, the park has a mature tree and shrub stock, ornamental rose garden, bandstand, kick-about area and a children’s play area.
Events organised by the groups ‘bandstand committee’ include a series of Brass band concerts held on the white domed bandstand during the summer
Victoria Gardens is a small historic park near the centre of West Kirby, close to the marine lake promenade. It was laid out in 1914.
During the early years the site was used for tennis, bowls and even the occasional open air concert. Later on a putting green was laid out on the site of the tennis courts and a seasonal games attendant would collect fees for the rental of clubs and bowling woods.
The national decline in investment in public parks over recent years resulted in the deterioration of Victoria Gardens. The seasonal attendant and hut were removed and the condition of the soft and hard landscape suffered.
The formation of a strong Friends group in 2009 has addressed this problem, and is returning Victoria Gardens to its former glory, with refurbishment to the historic shelters, boundary walling, seating and planting.
The resident bowling club ensures a presence throughout the year, and they assist the Friends Group and Council staff in a positive working partnership.
Victoria Park is a popular and well used park serving the local community. It has fantastic panoramic views across the Mersey towards Liverpool.
A visit to the park in springtime provides displays of daffodils and crocuses. Avenues of European Lime provide habitat for birds such as Blue Tits, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Thrushes and Blackbirds.
The park also has an active and enthusiastic Friends Group.
There is an opportunity for the local community to participate in a range of sports in the park. Facilities include three bowling greens, one full size football pitch and 2 junior football pitches and a free outdoor gym trail in the park.
Victoria Park Cricket Club is also located in the park.
There is a children’s play area with facilities for toddlers and juniors and also a kick about area, with a shelter and play equipment for young people.
Wirral Country Park
Wirral Country Park is a major leisure facility and wildlife habitat.
For 35 years it has been Wirral’s most popular visitor attraction, not only for local people, but from Merseyside, the north west and beyond.
The ‘backbone’ of the park is the 12 mile long Wirral Way, a footpath and bridleway developed on a disused railway which closed in 1962.
The park is large and diverse enough to absorb a wide variety of activities, from walking, riding, cycling, running, birdwatching, picnicking and BBQ’s. A number of access points, view points and picnic sites along the length of the park allow for short circular or longer linear walks, with good public transport links at either end of the Wirral Way and at various points in between.
Half way along the Wirral Way is the parks core site at Thurstaston. This is where the park amenities are centred such as parking, toilets and a Visitor Centre.
A stretch of amenity grassland provides access to the cliff and there are a number of wildlife ponds. The cliffs offer fantastic views of the Dee Estuary across to Wales as well as access down to the beach.
The wider park takes in ‘Cubbins Green’ and a woodland gorge ‘The Dungeon’ both accessible from the Wirral Way.
The Park Visitor Centre at Thurstaston is open all year round and contains an information desk where you can find out what's on and also a 'green shop' where you can pick up leaflets and books of special interest or simply talk to the Rangers or Information Staff.
You can buy refreshments at the adjacent snack bar, use the toilets or visit the bird hide and small exhibition area.
Opening times 10am to 5pm daily, except Christmas Day.
For further information contact the visitor centre on 0151 648 4371/3884.
The Arno, Oxton
The Arno is a small park in Storeton Road, Oxton, located next to Oxton Fields. It is probably best known for its Rose Garden, but there is much more to it...
Laid out on the site of a former stone quarry, the site is one of quite distinct natures. From the allotment gardens and small (almost secret), walled garden which is known locally as the Little Arno to the playing fields and wide open spaces.
At the bottom of Duck Pond Lane, there lies a children's play area with swings and slides. This area is very popular with local families with young children, especially during the summer months!
The whole area of the Arno is a hidden jewel set amongst a busy town and is enjoyed by strollers, dog owners and all those who all enjoy its refreshingly open spaces.