New woodland planned for award-winning park

3 October 2016

Leyland's multi-award-winning park will soon be given another boost with the planting of a new woodland.

One hundred young trees, all of them native species, will be introduced into Worden Park, which is currently undergoing £500,000 of improvements.

The latest planting scheme is the final, and largest, of three that were identified as part of the improvement of the park’s main car park entrance on Worden Lane. It will replace a row of Lombardy poplars and aspen trees, the oldest of which are now about 60 years old and nearing the end of their natural lives.

Two of these old trees have fallen in the past 10 years and a recent safety inspection showed significant decay in two of the remaining specimens.

Graham Walton, South Ribble Borough Council cabinet member for Neighbourhoods and Street Scene, said: “We’re looking on this as a fantastic opportunity to introduce a new area of native woodland to the park, which will provide habitats and food sources for a more diverse range of wildlife.

“The existing trees are a familiar sight, but some are now suffering various stages of decay. In order to ensure that the park’s historic landscape is conserved for the long term we decided that the best plan was to replace the existing line of trees with a new area of woodland that will be far longer lived and more in-keeping with the park’s other woodlands. 

“It will be some months before we’re able to plant the new woodland after the old trees have been felled but we’re looking forward to watching it grow and develop into a fantastic sight in the years to come.”

Felling of the existing 29 trees will be completed later this month, while the new deciduous trees, which include hornbeam, larch, field maple and various oaks, will take place in February. In addition to 100 trees measuring between 3.5m and 6.5m tall, 1,000 smaller trees will be planted to form an under-storey of holly, birch, hazel, hawthorn and mountain ash.

Worden Park, which this year won its 20th Green Flag award – the only park outside London to achieve the accolade every year since the awards began – is also benefiting from refurbishment of its iconic conservatory and vine house. It has recently seen major refurbishment of the main car park and entrance and 128 additional car parking spaces will soon be available for visitors.

The improvements, which began this year, are part of a £1m investment by South Ribble Borough Council into parks and open spaces over 12 months.

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