New Path Reconnects Croxteth Community with Green Spaces

Nearly 500 local people came out last weekend to celebrate the opening of The Cowies Meadow and Brooks Way, the new community path link that reconnects Croxteth with local woodlands and Croxteth Country Park.    The project is being led by The Cass Foundation working closely with The Friends of Croxteth Greenspaces, Alt Valley Community Trust, local primary schools and local organisations and has largely been thanks to a £50,000 grant from Cory Environmental Trust in Britain plus funding from Liverpool City Council, Arts Council England and Cobalt Housing.

A celebratory event, to mark the opening of the new path funded by Cobalt Housing and Arts Council England, was held over the weekend and included  drummers led by Rhythm Reaction, a twilight lantern walk and youth theatre performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Love Acting, the creative strand of Alt Valley Community Trust, devised a woodland-based version of the Shakespearean classic with local young people which was hailed as a great success. Schools and community groups such as Croxteth GEMS and Autism In Motion produced large and small recycled lanterns for the twilight walk. Liverpool City Council’s Deputy Mayor, Ann O Byrne, took to twitter after the event with “one of the best cultural events I have ever attended. Well done Croxteth community”.

A decorative entrance to the path was produced by local artist Mike Walker, of Start Creative CIC, with funding from Arts Council England, collaborating with schools and community groups to devise a local flora and fauna themed design.  MP Stephen Twigg and the Grandson of the late Reverend Brooks, who did so much for the local community and after whom the path was named, cut the ribbon to open the path.

Helen Rawlinson from The Cass Foundation, a local charity that aims to improve people’s health by enhancing the environment, said: “We’re delighted to see the link path open to the public. The number of people, largely families, who came to celebrate far exceeded expectations and demonstrates the huge local interest and support.”

The path link, which was backed by nearly 2,000 people from the local community, as well as all three local councillors, schools and community organisations, was created to give people in the Croxteth community an opportunity to become more active and improve their health and fitness, as well as bringing them closer to nature and allowing them more opportunities to take part in volunteering activities.  Angela Haymonds of Cory Environmental Trust in Britain, said: “The Trustees are very pleased to support this project. We hope the new accessible path helps to inspire more people to get involved with activities in the local community. This will have great benefits to individuals’ health and wellbeing.”

Having been without a link for more than seven years, the Croxteth community was in need of easier access to green spaces and nature. Due to the 1.5 mile detour that individuals and families had to take to get to the Croxteth Country Park, many local residents were put off from using the space.  That distance will now be reduced to just 150m. Helen Rawlinson continued, “A young mum mentioned to me that she thought the path could save her up to £100 a month on local transport as she could now walk her child to school and get to work on foot. We hope that the new path will have a positive impact on local people’s lives”.

Robbie Cropper, Chair of the Friends of Croxteth Greenspaces, said: “It’s been a long 2 years since we, as a community, started inroads into getting this path. It just goes to show what a community can achieve when you come together for a common goal.”

For more information contact Helen Rawlinson at The Cass Foundation on 07800 893280 or email info@cassfoundation.org.uk.

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