In a move to secure the long term future of the popular Berry Hill Park, Mansfield District Council has now become the Corporate Trustee of the Park.
It means the council as Trustee will now be legally responsible for the maintenance, safety and development of the Park. The land will remain in the ownership of the National Custodian for Charities but the Council as Corporate Trustee will have full responsibility for managing the Park.
CISWO and the former trustees of the park approached the Council last year with a request to consider taking over the governance of the charity controlling the park. The council stepped in to support efforts to keep the Park open and agreed to enter into an interim service level agreement with the park trustees. This agreement enabled essential maintenance work to be carried out on the Park and included litter picking, emptying bins, grass cutting, clearing leaves and health and safety works such as the safety work on trees and the repairs to the play area. All parties have since worked together to transfer trusteeship of the charity to the Council, enabling it to remain open in the long term.
Cllr Andy Burgin, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Leisure, said: “This a positive step and it means the future of the park is put on a more secure footing. The council takes on this responsibility with enthusiasm and we will doing everything we can to ensure that the people from Mansfield and beyond can continue to enjoy this beautiful open space. Indeed we would like to see more activities there as we believe it has a lot of potential to attract visitors to this area.”
Hayley Barsby, Chief Executive for Mansfield District Council said: “Supporting the Park in this way very much chimes with the council’s wider agenda to improve the health and wellbeing of residents and promote Mansfield as a destination for visitors as well as being a great place to live. We are already talking to schools and sporting groups to ensure the continued use of the park for cross country events and to make the most of the facilities on offer there.”
Ian Gill, former Trustee of the Berry Hill Park Trust said “I am delighted that the Park has been transferred into the hands of the Council. This move will ensure it remains open and accessible to be enjoyed by the residents of Mansfield for years to come. The Park is part of our history and heritage and I am confident that the Council can maximise the full potential the park has to offer.”
Nicola Didlock, Chief Executive of the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation said “Our priority here was always to protect the park and keep this great facility open for the community to use and enjoy. I am very pleased that we managed to work together to achieve this and that the park will remain open for future generations”
The move has also been welcomed by the Friends of Berry Hill Park.
David Fisher, Chairperson of the Friends Management Committee, said: "Our mission is to protect this much loved natural space and maximise the potential of it for everyone. The council becoming a corporate trustee will, we believe, further that aim. We hope it will encourage more people to get involved and to become members of the Friends association.”
It is expected that the council and Friends of Berry Hill Park will work together on future community schemes in the autumn such as general tidying, bulb planting, tree planting, painting, community litter picks and ideally working with local schools.
Anyone wishing to support the Friends, either by becoming a member or volunteer can email email@example.com or leave their contact details at the café in the park. They can also find out more on the Association’s Facebook page or website https://friendsofberryhillpark.wordpress.com (link opens in a new window).