HEYHEAD Park is Brierfield’s hidden gem. Tucked away up a little dirt track, this small, local park is a valuable recreation site in a built-up urban area.
The park was created as a recreation ground by Brierfield Local Board in 1892 on a field called the Great Meadow, which had been part of Heyhead Farm, and it has been enjoyed by the community ever since.
The park is very open, with lawned areas and mature trees flanking the narrow paths, but is bordered by houses on all sides, giving it an urban feel.
Tom Whittaker, 84, from the Friends of Brierfield Park, said the park has featured in his life from a young age. He said: “My mum used to take me up there when I was a nipper. We didn’t live very far. I’ve some good memories of the park.”
The park, although small, has plenty of facilities and has maintained the prestigious Green Flag status each year since it was first awarded it in 2009.There is a children’s play area, tennis courts, a five-a-side football pitch, and a bowling green.
The park keeper service has worked with local schools on a number of environmental activities, such as bulb plantings and making bird feeders, and the park has been used by Walter Street School as part of its ‘Wise Up’ week to look at environmental issues.
The bowling club at Heyhead was established in the 1920s, and is one of the leading clubs in Pendle.
In the summer, bowlers can be found playing in the park on three evenings each week, and on a Tuesday afternoon.
Tom said the friends are trying to get more young people into bowling, and local schools have, in the past, been introduced to bowls and have included the sport into the curriculum.He said: “It’s hard work getting young people into bowling. It has to be something they want to do.
“I’m thinking of going up to the schools and seeing if they can get them interested for us.”
The park also hosts a children’s fun day and football tournament every year. It didn’t run last year as, Tom said, there weren’t enough people to organise it, but he is hoping that it will take place again this year.
He said: “Kids’ teams came from Burnley to Colne.
“It stopped last year because we didn’t have the people to help, but at the moment we have just enough people to put it on, so we’re hoping it will run this year.”
Tom said the friends group is looking for more people to get involved with the park. He can be contacted on 01282 615459.