A tale of two parks

Cynthia Clark, Harry Clark with Samantha and Sean Ross.
Cynthia Clark, Harry Clark with Samantha and Sean Ross.

During ‘Love Parks Week’ last week, Lancaster City Council asked the public to ‘Take Pride in Our Parks’. Our reporter KELLI TAYLOR visited two Morecambe parks to find out what people think of them.

The contrast between Happy Mount Park and Regent Park last Wednesday morning could not have been greater.

Happy Mount Park was full of people enjoying the summer holidays. But Regent Park was near-deserted, with nobody around to talk to.

The only people using Regent Park were dog walkers and people going straight through it.

Meanwhile at Happy Mount Park, visitors were full of praise for its facilities.

Sheila Aldridge from Milnthorpe said: “It has improved a lot in the past few years and the splash park the kids love.”

But the mum of two did say the toilets could be improved.

Heather Tanton from Milnthorpe agreed: “I think the park’s really good. I think they’ve got a good range for all ages, it’s just the toilets the council could improve on.”

Judith Barrow, from Lancaster, said: “It’s beautiful, it really is a glorious park.”

Neil Hingham, from Lancaster, said: “It is beautiful and it always has been.

“What is there left you can improve? I would suggest they brought back the lights at night for the kids in October.”

Cynthia Clark from Northumbria said: “This park is probably one of the best parks we’ve been in.

“The toilet facilities could be improved, as well as parking.”

Owners Lancaster City Council currently has plans to improve both parks. A masterplan is on the table to develop Regent Park, while the council wants to set up a Friends of Happy Mount Park.

The Regent Park plan would see the removal of one bowling green to make way for a bigger play area, improved landscaping, community seating areas and two multi-use games areas, but no date has been set for its development.

The council also hopes to rent out the recently closed Pavillion to provide an indoor area with seating and refreshments for visitors. The Friends of Regent Park group has so far raised over £1,000 through a jazz concert and secured funding of £40,000 from Morecambe Town Council and Lancashire Environmental Fund.

However Father Tom Davis of St Barnabas, Morecambe, said it will take almost double that amount to get any of the renovations started.

He added: “We are investigating trusts and companies that are sympathetic to the aims of the Friends of Regent Park. We’ll also be arranging other fund raising events nearer Christmas.”