Mansfield council and Berry Hill Park group 'singing from same sheet' on future of park

Campaigners successfully saved the park from closure.
Campaigners successfully saved the park from closure.

The first stages of a "new future" for Berry Hill Park will see Mansfield District Council and the park's 'friends' group working together to host "community events" on the site, a meeting has decided.

Representatives from the council and the Friends of Berry Hill Park group met for the first time earlier this week in a bid to get the ball rolling on future plans for the park.

The meeting, on August 20, was described by Mansfield mayor Andy Abrahams as an "amicable and productive" session which will "pave the way" for partnerships between the two groups.

The council agreed in July to move forward to become corporate trustees of the park after it was threatened with closure last year.

And it is expected that, when this process formally concludes in the autumn and the council has unilateral control over the park, community schemes such as tidying, bulb planting, tree planting, painting and community litter picks will start to take shape.

Following the meeting, which also included the council's environment chief Councillor Andy Burgin and council officers, the groups revealed that they plan to "forge closer links" and "work together" on the site.

David Fisher, chairman of the Friends of Berry Hill Park management committee, said: "We believe that working closely with the council with a structured, organised approach and the pooling of ideas can only help us in our mission to protect this much loved natural space and maximise the potential of it for everyone.

“We would like to encourage more people to sign up as members of the Friends association and add their name to the growing lists of volunteers.

"This will ensure that members and other interested people are kept up to date with progress on the park transfer, and any requests for volunteers to get involved with projects on the park.”

The council is helping the group to adopt a similar working relationship that has been used at its other parks and open spaces by other 'friends' groups - such as the Friends of Yeoman Hill Park group in Mansfield Woodhouse.

Andy Abrahams, Mansfield mayor, said: "It was an amicable and productive meeting with the 'friends' and paves the way for us to work in partnership.

"We are very much singing from the same song sheet in wanting to ensure that this beautiful and valued park stays open and its benefit to the community is strengthened and maximised.

"We really want more people in this district to get out and enjoy the fantastic array of parks and open spaces this district has as part of the council's wider agenda to improve the health and wellbeing of residents."

Anyone wishing to support the Friends, either by becoming a member or volunteer can email fobhpark@gmail.com