Parks win royal protection in lasting legacy to 2012

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TWO of Calderdale’s parks have been given Royal recognition to celebrate two of the New Year’s biggest events.

Wellholme Park, Brighouse, and Centre Vale Park, Todmorden, have been awarded Queen Elizabeth II Fields status to mark Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics.

It means they will be protected forever after Calderdale residents voted for them as part of a campaign organised by the charity Fields in Trust.

Pauline Nash, Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for communities, said she was thrilled at the prestigious award.

“Our parks are an important part of our environment, and they have a big part to play in contributing to people’s health and wellbeing,” she said.

“The Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge has given us the fantastic chance to preserve the land, facilities and opportunities for sport, play and outdoor recreation both now and forever.

“Thank you to all the Calderdale residents who took the time to vote for their favourite parks.”

The campaign aims to protect 2,012 outdoor recreational spaces in communities across the country as a permanent legacy of the events. It was supported by patron Prince William, who urged people to support their local amenities to ensure their protection for future generations.

The Duke of Cambridge said: “I cannot think of a more fitting tribute to my grandmother’s 60 glorious years on the throne than to dedicate to the Queen this programme that will save playing fields for future generations.”

He added: “I sincerely hope that these fields will become a living reminder to all of the Queen’s steadfast duty, dedication and love for this country.”

Calderdale Council put forward 18 parks and playing fields to go to the public vote. Their new status means the two winning parks will be eligible to apply for funding to protect them forever.

Alison Moore-Gwyn, chief executive of Fields in Trust, said she was delighted at the support people had shown. She said: “The passion they have shown for their local parks is exactly the community spirit that is so vital to the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge.”