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A Look at the World’s First Public Park – Birkenhead Park

Birkenhead Park is the oldest public park in England, located at the centre of Birkenhead, in the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, Merseyside. It is also the world’s first publicly funded civic park opened on 5th of April 1847. This park has inspired many urban parks including the famous Central Park in New York and Sefton Park, Liverpool.

Birkenhead Park was designed by a well-known designer from 19th century, Sir Joseph Paxton, who was sensational for his Crystal Palace, at the London’s Great Exhibition of 1851. He designed the park based on natural attributes of the place such as natural woodlands and open meadows. He and his team designed the local buildings and structures, acquired for this park, in various styles – Italian lodge, Castellated Lodge, Gothic Lodge, the Swiss Bridge and the Boathouse. The most impressive is the Grand Entrance – a classical triumphal arch – that represents the pride of Birkenhead people in their magnificent park.

The Birkenhead Park is spread over 90 hectares of land featuring parkland, woodland, multiple meadows and beautiful lakes which appear like sinuous rivers. The park also has sports facilities including tennis courts, cricket clubs, football pitches and bowling greens. The Birkenhead Park has brought a significant change in the life of urban areas in the wake of poor health conditions caused by industrial revolution.

Birkenhead Park today is a Grade I listed historic landscape, with multiple Grade II and Grade III listed structures and buildings. The park holds the prestigious Green Heritage Award and is recognised as a site of excellence by Green Flag.

The Birkenhead Park is open all year, from dawn to dusk and a visit to this place is truly a day out in itself.

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