For latest news follow
tweets &
campaigning web sites


Liverpool Campaign web sites

Save Sefton Park Meadows on facebook

Walton Hall Park Community

Save Woolton Woods on facebook

Save Our Green Spaces Liverpool on facebook

email saveourgreenspaces liverpool

Liverpool City Council

All committee meetings

weekly & current planning applications

Strategic green & open spaces review board


The Parks Alliance

National Federation of Parks of Green Spaces

UK ‘Save Our Parks’ petition

Open Space Society

The Land Trust

Fields in Trust



English Heritage

Historic England

European Landscape Convention

European Landscape Convention
icomos-uk PDF

Anna Minton author Ground Control

State of UK Public Parks report from the Heritage Lottery Fund












eXTReMe Tracker

Liverpool at risk from surface water flooding

Liverpool is the 4th worst city at risk through surface water flooding in England (not rivers bursting banks). These were the findings of a Flood Risk Assessment report given to Liverpool’s Regeneration, Housing & Sustainability Select Committee on 25th February 2016.

Greenfield sites were identified as efficient drainage areas to reduce flood risk and that many built hard surfaces in Liverpool were at risk to surface flooding. Green spaces in the flood risk areas of Liverpool serve to limit flood risk. The effects of Climate Change may also make Liverpool more vulnerable to surface flooding.

The committee was told that lakes in parks help to prevent flooding. For example, the lake in Sefton Park is important to flood risk management - whereas the former lake at Dovecot Park L14, after it was filled-in, caused local flooding.

The recent work on the River Alt water course in Croxteth was to limit flood risk. The river was diverted into a channel alongside Stonebridge Lane. A walkway was added and with landscape planting the area named 'Alt Meadows Park'. Altering the course of the river has opened up a large area of land with limited flood risk and for the potential of a substantial development site near the A580 East Lancs Road.

More former school playing fields dug up for housing

Many former school playing fields are in the process of being purchased or developed for housing. The loss of school grounds, many designated green space, do not need to be publicly advertised for disposal and therefore there is no public consultation over the loss of this green space. Councils seek permission to decommission school sites directly from the Secretary of State for Education.

In Liverpool at the beginning of 2016:

Redrow Homes plan to build 22 houses on the former Ernest Cookson Special School, on Mill Lane in West Derby. Comments for the planning committee can be made for this planning application, ref. 16F/0083 before the 12th February 2016, on the Council’s web site from this link along with details of the development.

Redrow are completing two substantial housing schemes over the former 14-acre New Hayes school site between Mather Avenue and Calderstones Park with 119 homes.

Redrow have started to build on former Watergate School, opposite St. Julies School in Woolton Village.

Purchase proposals from Redrow have been submitted for the 6.5-acre site once home to Redbridge and Bank View High Schools in Fazakerley. Redrow were authorised to demolish the site last October to bring the project forward by 6 months.

Redrow expects to start building 60 dwellings on the grounds of Holly Lodge Girls' College in West Derby this Easter. In December 2015, in spite of many local objections, approval was given to demolish Holly Lodge House. The Grade II listed Fremont and Sandheys buildings will be converted for homes.

Palmerston School will be declared surplus to requirements when the school relocates in the spring of 2017 and planning for this site will commence at the end of 2016.

There is little evidence in Liverpool to certify, under Section 77 of the School Standards and Framework Act (1998), that existing playing fields are re-provided when schools are relocated. 

Under a Central Government initiative, Mayor Anderson has a £169M fund to build 12 new schools. Many of the completed new schools that have playing fields are a fraction of their original size.

Open Space Study for Liverpool - final public engagement

As recommended by house builders, a mayoral strategic green and open spaces review board was established at the beginning of 2015 followed by public consultation meetings throughout Liverpool seeking views on parks and open spaces. A Green and Open Spaces interim report has been published and there were 3 further meetings in January 2016 for the public to engage and provide feedback on the report.

Liverpool's Local Plan will establish local planning rules and cultural guidelines for the next 15 years. The final conclusions of this Green and Open Spaces Report will inform the Local Plan to help shape the greenspace infrastructure of Liverpool and future allocations of green and open space for housing and other building requirements.

strategic green and open spaces review board interim report pdf

The final report is expected to be finalised at the end of March 2016 - enquires about this Review can be made by email to or call 0151 233 7045.

Review of Liverpool parks under threat in 2016

Campaigns to save the public greenspace of Woolton Woods Park, Sefton Park Meadows and Walton Hall Park are now actively engaged in the fight against private building development plans and sell-offs.

Woolton Woods Park

On 16 June 2015 Liverpool's Planning Committee approved extension plans for St Julies school over Woolton Woods Park. Then on 4 September the Council continued with the appropriation and disposal of Woolton Woods land to deliver the new build school project. In exchange for 5% of popular parkland the school owners will offer the Council woodland it does not maintain and can not use.

Sufficient land is available on the existing school footprint for the St Julies school extension. However, the private school owners, the Sisters of Notre Dame, want to hold onto 4.37 hectares of school land for a potential residential land sale.

An historic Public Right of Way runs adjacent to the school boundary sandstone wall. Does the Council need to legally agree to the diversion of this Public Right of Way before they can make a full disposal of the public green space? Will the organisation formed to save Woolton Woods present a legal challenge with regard to the land covenant by Colonel James Reynolds?

more details from 2015 about Woolton Woods

Woolton Woods 8 February 2015 - 150th anniversary of the birth of Sir James Reynolds
who in 1917 "gifted these two open fields to the people of Liverpool".

Sefton Park Meadows

For nearly three years there has been a great deal of public misinformation and misleading assertions regarding the status, disposal and so-called beneficial sale of the designated Green Space of Sefton Park Meadows. The land is officially described in Council bye-law records as the Meadow Fields of Sefton Park. The Council were mislead by the advertised disposal notice in early 2013 when Sefton Park Meadows were described as 'incidental open space'.

Redrow Homes NW, with the full backing of Liverpool Mayor Anderson, intend to amend and re-submit it's planning application to build housing over the entire 6.5 acres of the Meadowlands. When a planning proposal is submitted to the Planning Authority the Campaign to Save Sefton Park Meadows will present a robust challenge against any development plans.

more details on Sefton Park Meadows from 2015.

Sefton Park Meadows - the Meadow Fields dissected by Park Avenue at the entrance to Queens Drive.

Walton Hall Park

The Friends of Walton Hall Park have been campaigning to save their park since September 2014 when Everton Football Club confirmed they wanted to build a new football stadium over the Park. In November 2015 EFC Chief Executive announced to shareholders, "Walton Hall Park is a fantastic opportunity for this football club and will remain a key priority for the board." The expectation to acquire this historic and popular park is made possible by the support of Mayor Anderson and his powerful rule over the Labour-led Council.

But before any planning proposals are made, according to a Liverpool Echo report in November 2015, the Club has to raise £300m. for the project. Will the Board of Everton FC raise the necessary capital for a new stadium while it still has the support of Liverpool's current administration?

The origins of Walton Hall Park date back to 1199. If Everton FC plans go ahead will English Heritage and it's recently formed planning arm of Historic England give it's blessing for the sale of Walton Hall Park - as it did for Grade II listed Stanley Park when up to half of this historic park was sold to Liverpool FC?

Detail of 1610 map held at The Atkinson, Southport.

Calderstones Park - described as land off Harthill Road

See Liverpool Confidential feature: Calderstones land earmarked for luxury housing. A draft master plan will be produced for a substantial housing development in and around Calderstones Park with a target completion date of 2020.

Land Trust Study demonstrates value of green spaces to society

This recent study found that every pound invested in parks and nature reserves contributes £30 towards health and well being benefits and £23 towards crime reduction and community safety.

The national land management charity, the Land Trust, commissioned an independent study by economic consultants, Carney Green to assess the value of the green spaces in its portfolio. The study measured the impact of Land Trust services to identify the value that people place on their local green space as well as to estimate the financial value it contributes to the health and social sectors.

Follow these links for more details:

The Land Trust Study demonstrates value of green spaces to society

The Carney Green research for The Land Trust 'Perceptions Survey and Social Value Study' pdf

In brief: Strategic Housing Development Programme

The 27 November 2015 Cabinet meeting disclosed the first batch of about 580 new homes for the Strategic Housing Development Programme (SHDP) - which will be updated again in March 2016. This is part of a 5 year scheme to provide 1,500 newly constructed homes (many on school grounds & open space) and a further 1,000 brought back into use.

Cuts to Local Authorities impact on Greenspace

The Government’s cuts to Local Authorities for local public services, combined with the lack of statutory protection for open spaces, are causing real threats to urban greenspace. This is provoking a growing number of local grass-roots campaigns throughout Britain as local communities mobilise to defend spaces under threat of neglect, privatisation or sell-offs.

At the same time the evidence continues to stack up on the vital and unique role our parks and greenspaces play for health, biodiversity, flood control, climate change mitigation, social cohesion and many other essential needs of all sections of all our communities.

4 July 2015 - one of the demonstrations organised by Save Our Green Spaces - Liverpool

Parks and Playing Fields in Public Ownership
(Protection from Sale) Bill 2015-16

A cross-party group of MP's is supporting a Private Members Bill (Bill 53 pdf) to strengthen protective measures and to 'require public consultation to be carried out in local areas where the sale of park or playing field land owned by a public body is proposed; to require referendums on such proposals in certain circumstances; and for connected purposes'. A record of the first reading of Bill 53 at the House of Commons on 13 July 2015 can be read from this link. The Bill, sponsored by Tom Pursglove MP, is expected to have its second reading debate on 5 February 2016.

Following pressure from UK greenspace organisations, such as the National Federation of Parks of Green Spaces, The Parks Alliance and others, the previous outgoing government administration recommended that the newly elected Government consider hosting a National Inquiry into the future funding and management of our parks.

Please sign and promote the UK ‘Save Our Parks’ petition to step up the pressure on the Government and all political parties to take seriously the future funding and protection of our vital green spaces.

Add news and information to this site

Our Ground welcomes any information about your campaign and the loss of public open greenspace on Merseyside. Please send your information to

updated 9 March 2016 © Our Ground 2007 - 2016



2016 Our Ground news on this page:

Disappearing School Fields

Open Spaces Review Board

Liverpool parks under threat

Woolton Woods Park land

Sefton Park Meadows

Walton Hall Park

Land Trust Study on value of green space

1st SHDP housing programme

Local Authorities cuts impact

Parks and Playing Fields Bill

Our Ground aims to promote campaigns to save public green space in Liverpool and beyond.

Losses of greenspace on Merseyside reflect the changes taking place throughout Britain with public space disposed and sold for private developments.

We are witnessing the disappearance and erosion of our rights to freely use public space for the health and benefit of all our communities.

Local authorities encouraged by successive UK governments have continued to sell-off our parks, school playing fields, recreation grounds and public rights of way in towns and cities throughout Britain.

2015 news:


Woolton Woods

Sefton Park Meadows

Mayoral Review of Green & Open space

Greenspace for housing


Mayoral propaganda

On going threats

Liverpool's Local Plan

2014 news:

Green Space debates

Meadows press News

Liverpool Local Plan

Redrow's Meadows

Woolton Woods under threat

Walton Hall Park stadium plans

Local Plan & Statement of Community Involvement

Turning Green to Brown

2013 news:

Meadowland Campaigners replace notices after Council removal

Mayor 'bully-dozers' Sefton Park Meadows for marketing

'NIMBY NIMBY NIMBY' Mayors shouts at public gallery

Liverpool starts to prepare a Local Plan for future planning rules

SHLL building sites

7 approved 'finger blocks'
for Otterspool Promenade

2012 news:

Forest Estate - final report

Festival Gardens opening 23 June

Survey for private public space

Forest Estate - Privatisation

Festival Garden background

Neighbourhood Parks cuts

New - Port Sunlight River Park

Occupy Liverpool & London

'Big Society' Localism Act

Land Trust call for land

Dixie Dene Playing Fields
now a private Academy

2011 news:

Our Ground at the Bluecoat art gallery

Garden Festival Site update

English Forests and Woodlands privatisation

Priory Wood

2010 news:

Festival Gardens AGM and new park

Liverpool's mess in Stanley Park

Otterspool Park land sold

Work starts on Festival Gardens Park

Campaign web site lost

'Dutch Farm' green space sold

The Value of Urban Parks

Sefton Park Lake

2009 news:

Otterspool Park Privatisation and open letter of objection to City Council

NWDA fund Festival Gardens Park

Festival Gardens sewage disaster

Liverpool's Year of the Environment 2009

Springfield Park Privatisation

Stanley Park and privatisation plans

Sefton Park cafe deadlock

Tate "5th floor" debate

Festival Gardens & Promenade

Millbank Playing Fields Privatisation

2008 news:

Secretary of State gives go-ahead for Festival Gardens scheme

Festival Gardens Public Inquiry ends

Anfield - new design for LFC

U-boat U532 moved to Woodside Ferry Terminal

Biennial Pavilions

Brief history of Stanley Park

Stanley Park land privatised
with sports centre demolished

2007 news:

Otterspool Promenade Privatisation Disposal

Garden Festival Site Inquiry

Campaign & call for Inquiry

Stanley Park Privatisation & Stadium

Stanley Park Restoration

Millbank Playing Fields Privatisation

Parks Forum

Village Green protection status

Princes Park

Sefton Park

Dixie Dean Memorial Playing Fields Privatisation inquiry

Speke Park Privatisation and Speke Parade

Walton Hall Park