Green Flag Award for Beacon Park
Published on Tuesday, 17th July 2012
National award for Lichfield park
Lichfield District Council is celebrating the news it has been awarded Green Flag status for Beacon Park.
The winners were announced today (Tuesday 17 July 2012), and Beacon Park is now one of 1,424 UK sites to receive a Green Flag Award.
The national award for public and community parks was created to recognise well-managed, high-quality green spaces.
Award-winning sites across the UK will be raising their flags and celebrating their success during Love Parks Week, which runs from 21 to 29 July 2012.
Councillor Val Richards, Lichfield District Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure Services, said: "We're absolutely delighted to have achieved a Green Flag Award for Beacon Park and will fly our flag with pride.
"We all know how much local people and visitors love our city centre park, but it is always good to hear independent inspectors tell you that it is a great resource for leisure, education and wildlife.
"Well done to all the parks team and the many volunteers who work hard to make Beacon Park a lovely place to visit."
Paul Todd, Green Flag Award Scheme Manager, said: "We are thrilled to announce yet another record-breaking year for Green Flag Award parks and green spaces. A Green Flag Award provides national recognition for the achievements of all those whose hard work and dedication has helped to create these fantastic places for all to enjoy."
Information on the winners is available at http://www.greenflagaward.org.uk/, where you will find a wealth of fascinating stories behind the award-winning green spaces.
About Green Flag
The Green Flag Award Scheme is managed in the UK by a consortium, comprising Keep Britain Tidy, The Conservation Volunteers and GreenSpace. Known collectively as the Green Flag Plus Partnership. The consortium manages the scheme in England on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government and in Wales for the Welsh Steering Group.
Green Flag Award recognises well-managed, high-quality green spaces. Any green space in the UK is eligible to win this award providing it is freely accessible to the public. The scheme was set up in 1996.
For more information visit http://www.greenflagaward.org.uk/
About Beacon Park
Dating back to the late 1800s, Beacon Park is set in more than 70 acres of beautiful formal gardens and open space.
From beautiful walks and fascinating wildlife, to a play area and an 18-hole par-3 golf course, Beacon Park offers something for everyone.
It also hosts an exciting programme of events, ranging from children's activities and guided walks, through to large scale musical productions.
A short history of Beacon Park
Museum Gardens were first created as an informal park in the late 1800s. The land was once part of Minster Pool until a causeway was built, on what is now part of Bird Street, and it became known as Bishop's Pool (or Upper Pool). This pool silted up over time and was eventually filled in.
Museum Gardens opened as a public park in 1859, during the reign of Queen Victoria. It was developed by the City Corporation and funded by the Conduit Lands Trust. Originally incorporating ornamental pools and avenues of trees, the gardens were designed to complement the Italianate architecture of the adjoining Free Library and Museum.
Local society philanthropists and wealthy residents donated items. The garden's ornamental fountain was donated by JT Law, the diocesan chancellor, in 1871. The figures of the lions round Chancellor Law's Fountain were given by Sir Richard Cooper, a city alderman, in the late 1880s. In 1892, the Conduit Lands Trust agreed to supply water to the fountain three times a week in the summer, without charge.
Beacon Park's Recreation Grounds were opened in 1891 on nearly 5 acres of land. The grounds were extended by 11½ acres in 1944, thanks to a local benefactor, Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Swinfen Broun. The area now features tennis courts, bowling greens and football pitches.
Martyrs' Plaque is the remains of a sculpture of the city's common seal. It was originally set into the façade of Lichfield's 18th century Guildhall, but is now displayed on a plinth in the park's herbaceous garden.
The plaque portrays three dismembered kings who, according to legend, led 999 Christians into battle against the Romans in AD 288. The kings were defeated and became martyrs.
Beacon Park, including Museum Gardens, is owned and managed by Lichfield District Council.