A delightful musical afternoon was held at Stubbylee Park, Bacup, to celebrate ‘Rosendale’s Best Parks’ retaining their Green Flag status.
Stubbylee and the adjacent Moorlands Park have been anonymously visited and rated for this award for the second year.
A Green Flag is an international mark of quality given to parks and green spaces and Bacup Parks are the only ones in Rossendale to have received the standard.
The parks are maintained by Rossendale Council’s greenspace team and volunteers from Friends of Stubbylee Park, an offshoot of Bacup Pride which also has a housing estate in the park area.
Bacup Pride Treasurer, Councilor Andrew Walmsley welcomed everyone to the afternoon celebration in the Stubbylee Rose Garden, where gazebos had been set up for the Rossendale Ukulele Band to play and the Stubbylee Community Greenhouses to serve cakes and refreshments.
Last year, when the park got its first green flag, Covid prevented a real celebration, but this year many people of all ages, from babies to pensioners, attended the afternoon.
Councilor Walmsley said: ‘I want to thank so many people from community groups, individuals and council who all came together ten years ago to form the Stubbylee Masterplan Group.
“At first the document was ambitious and a massively unaffordable wish list, however much has been achieved over the past decade: improvements to the duck pond, a new pump track, the complete renovation of the aire of obsolete games, the opening of the Greenhouses Stables Café and the work in progress to improve the skatepark.
“I think we have the most beautiful park in Rossendale at Bacup right on our doorstep and the rose garden is beautiful and a perfect venue for our celebration.”
Mayor of Rossendale, Councilor Anne Cheetham, is also president of Edenfield and District Horticultural Society and said attending the celebration was a great privilege and described the park as a ‘hidden gem’.
She presented a beautiful red rose to Pat Smith, president of Bacup Pride, which will be planted in the rose garden, in memory of Sylvia Lancaster, who sadly passed away this year. A tree in memory of Sylvia’s daughter, Sophie, also grows in the park.
Pat paid tribute to the parks team of Dawn Ashworth and John Hollows for their support of Bacup Pride and the fantastic work in the park, especially the Rose Garden.
Greensclough Councilor Barbara Ashworth, whose ward is within the park, said: ‘We now officially have the best park in Rossendale and thank you to everyone who came out for the celebration.
Jean Mather, who has lived in Bacup for over 50 years and ran a grocery store on Hawthorn Road, said of the park: “It is beautiful and very well maintained.
“I come here and I like to walk and sit, watch the bowls and talk to people. It has grown and the rose garden is beautiful.
Rosemary Ratcliffe moved to Rossendale 47 years ago and has been in Bacup for 37 years.
She said: ‘I live just opposite and come here twice a day with my dog. The park is much, much better and I love it. John has done a wonderful job, especially throughout Covid.
A Green Flag award recognizes that spaces are appropriately managed and responsive to community needs, promotes good practices, and recognizes and rewards the hard work of managers, staff, and volunteers.