Public Announcement

The Friends of Grange Hill (FofGH) with the approval of the local authority (Wirral Borough Council) has been active in maintaining Grange Hill and the Garden of Remembrance according to the Wirral Council Management Plan – and devising and implementing projects to improve access and the visitor experience to the War Memorial.

The garden on the west and south side of the monument was created in 1948 and formerly opened on the 22nd October 1949, as a memorial to those who gave their lives during the Second World War.  Whilst the FofGH has done a tremendous amount of work to reveal parts of the garden that had become lost to advancing vegetation, it is felt the time is now right to restore it to be more in keeping with the original design, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of its creation.

The attached revitalised garden design has been commissioned by the FofGH and seeks to follow the criteria below:

  • To provide wheelchair friendly access within the garden area, with a circuitous pathway around the southern side of the garden.
  • To provide wheelchair passing places at multiple points on the pathways.
  • To ensure that all new planting work uses varieties that are harmonious and compatible with the indigenous species found on the hill.
  • To ensure that once implemented, the new design should be readily maintainable with just the volunteer labour resources available through the Friends Group.

The draft design proposed was presented to local councillors, the responsible senior council officers with the Parks & Countryside Service, and the Hoylake and District Remembrance Sunday Committee and is supported in principle.

The display of this design drawing and commentary is part of a consultation process that seeks to invite ideas and suggestions from the local community that may be considered for inclusion in the plan on the basis of suitability and affordability. The same documents will be displayed in the following libraries – West Kirby, Hoylake, Irby and Greasby.

The local press will be asked to publish this information.

Any communications on the subject should be sent by the following means:

Wirral Parks & Countryside Service,

Wirral Council,

Cheshire Lines Building,

Canning St,

Birkenhead,

Wirral

CH41 1ND

Dedicated letterbox in each of the aforementioned libraries.

The closing date for communications to be received and considered is 31 October 2017.

 

Signed:

Date:      29/08/2017

                                                                                                                                   

Volunteer Work – 22-Jan-17

Today I met with volunteers to work on the Public Right of Way (PROW) number 43 that links Grange Old Road, the War Memorial and Lang Lane.

It is always a real pleasure to work with enthusiastic volunteers as is the case with FofGH members and the great work carried out previously and today is really making huge improvements to the areas where we have been working. Today we were able to complete the re-opening of the above-mentioned footpath by cutting back the encroaching and overhanging Gorse and Bramble and we have as agreed left the cuttings and brash waste for the Ranger Matt Thomas and his team to dispose of during the week. Apologies to Matt for all the waste generated and for leaving it at various points along the footpath. The first clump being next to the Fire Hydrant near to the War Memorial.

Matt, I have spoken with a number of our members and a good number are keen to meet up and work with you on the 9th February, we may even have one of the hill walkers who passed by today. There was a good number and all passed compliments for the work the FofGH members are doing, the more open views being especially appreciated. Please, can you confirm a start time and where would you like to meet up?

I hope you get some flavour of the work carried out over our last two volunteer days from the photographs below, I apologise for the quality but the phone camera got a bit dirty.

Finally thanks to the following for today’s work; Allie Abraham, Carla Williams, Keith & Sharon Ackerley, and Linda Trim.

Regards

Derek Longman


Removal of Holm Oak

The Holm Oak in the Garden of Remembrance

The site after removal


The PROW leading to Lang Lane from the War Memorial.

Image was taken at 9:44 hrs  22nd January 2017

Image was taken at 13:44 hrs  22nd January 2017


Looking back towards the All Ability Pathway

Image was taken at 9:45 hrs 22nd January 2017

Image was taken at 13:41 hrs 22nd January 2017


The following are other images of the PROW worked on during the day

This image from near the Fire Hydrant was taken  at 9:44 hrs22nd January 2017


This image was taken at 12:41 hrs


Taken at 12:39 hrs showing a more open PROW revealing interesting sandstone rock.


The view towards the War Memorial highlights the more open footpath and clear views ahead.
Images were taken at 13:38 hrs


Aerial image captured from a drone showing the length of the footpath cleared

Visit by Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside

On Wednesday 4th May the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, Dame Lorna Muirhead visited Grange Hill in West Kirby. During the visit she was able to take in this much loved natural open space, the views it has to offer and the works completed by the many volunteers of the Friends of Grange Hill, the projects it has fundraised for and its aims to enhance the local Grade II listed War Memorial. Dame Lorna also met some of the descendants of the Johnstone family, 5 brothers, lost their lives as a result of Active Service during WW1.

During the visit we were able to display the black and white panoramic photograph of the views from the War Memorial that features the immediate garden area, the North Wales coast and the Wirral Peninsula round towards Hoylake. (Thanks to the staff at West Kirby Library for the loan of the photograph). Other images included how the Garden of Remembrance stood prior to the FofGH being formed and as work proceeded. Dame Lorna also witnessed volunteers at work removing one of the large Rhododendrons in one of the borders as well as some general gardening work. We were also able to present a fully restored bench within the garden based on the original benches. Alan Percy gave a briefing on the new in-ground LED light units that will provide enhanced illumination of the obelisk and statues at a much lower cost than the current arrangement. Prior to leaving Grange Hill Dame Lorna praised the work of all the volunteers, its fundraising works and finally unveiled another restored bench this one sited alongside the All Ability Pathway leading to the War Memorial. This bench provides commanding views across to Lancashire, Liverpool and the south Pennines.

Thank you to all who have contributed time to help in the restoration and improvement to the Garden of Remembrance and the wider hillside. Thanks also to the Committee of the Farmers Market group for the loan of their Gazebos and Hoylake Community Centre for the loan of tables for the visit.

Following the visit FofGH Trustees met with Mr Jim Cookson for initial discussions on the repairs and upgrade to the footpath within the Garden of Remembrance. The talks went well and I hope to provide more feedback in the future. In the meantime, during our next volunteer workday, I hope that we can expose the full width of the path to assist in a survey and assessment of works to be completed soon.

Whilst it is not possible to provide all the detail on the projects for the War Memorial and Garden of Remembrance, we do wish to let you know that the Trustees of FofGH are working alongside several officers from WBC to progress;

  • The lighting project, that will see the removal of the old street lamppost that currently blights the eastern aspect of the Memorial.
  • Refurbishment of the plinth on which it sits and the restoration of the footpath in the garden to allow access to those with restricted mobility.
  • Repairs to the garden footpath.
  • And, we are also investigating the possibility of a Webcam facility that will allow all members of the public to observe the wildlife of Grange Hill via the internet.

I am very grateful too for all the work of the Trustees who continue to organise events, assist in fundraising as well as helping on Volunteer days.

In addition, a further meeting is being held on Monday 23rd May at the Grange on Meols Drive, 7.00pm, Agenda to follow.

Garden of Remembrance Message

Dear Residents and Visitors,

The Friends of Grange Hill (FofGH) has once again recommenced work to restore and improve the Garden of Remembrance. We believe that this will enrich the site and improve your experience. We aim to ensure that the planting will be sympathetic to the natural environment and require less maintenance than some of the shrubs currently planted. The work will mainly be completed by volunteers and there may be a need to restrict access to certain areas for the safety of all and to aid plant or grass growth. We ask for your kind assistance and patience during these periods.

Four members of the FofGH have started researching which combination of shrubs or plants would be the most suitable for the location. They will submit a report to Christine Smyth, the Area Team Leader of the Parks and Open Spaces team, who will check its recommendations. Once agreed, the planting will take place in the autumn period.

We feel that it will also aid future maintenance if several of the shrub borders were reduced in size by extending the communal grassed area. To do this there will be phased reduction of the shrubs in the borders. Once removed, sub-soil will be added and a topcoat of native soil added to the top surface. After allowing the soil to settle, new grass sods will be laid slightly beyond the required area and this will be cut back to the desired area once it has established. This work will take some time and FofGH will tackle each border in turn. We have started with the borders to the north side of the Garden of Remembrance and intend to work towards the southerly areas.

The work on the wider hillside will continue during the winter months and include widening Public Rights of Way and Permissive Paths to make it easier and safer for visitors access to other areas of the hill.

FofGH will do as much as it can to ensure you are kept informed and continue to enjoy other features of the hill throughout the work whilst we continue to consult and work with Christine Smyth.

Thank you for your patience whilst this work is carried out.

The Volunteer Work Days planned are generally for a Sunday but may also be held on some summer evenings depending on volunteer availability.

Derek Longman – Friends of Grange Hill  www.fofgh.org.uk – Tel: 0151 632 5285