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Friends of Highgate Wood hold event for opening ceremony of new pathways

Posted on - 10th January, 2015 - 7:16pm | Author - | Posted in - Events, Fulwood, History, Parks, Preston History, Things To Do, Wildlife and Conservation
The Friends of Highgate Wood and guests gather together for the opening ceremony

The Friends of Highgate Wood and guests gather together for the opening ceremony

Today, 10 January, the Friends of Highgate Wood and guests came together to celebrate the achievement of completing new pathways around the woodland area.

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The Highgate Wood project originated from the idea of a few local residents who wanted to see the woodland area developed into a place where people could visit and enjoy the nature and wildlife which exists there. A group was formed and became known as ‘The Friends of Highgate Wood’ in 2011. Since then various events have taken place to create awareness of the project and raise funds to effect the necessary work. Damian Gilkes, a civil servant, was the founder of the Friends of Highgate Wood and current chairman started the proceedings off with a short speech explaining what the ‘Friends’ is all about and the work that has recently been done in creating a new pathway. Also present, giving further speeches were Councillor Robert Boswell and Marcus Johnston.

08 Highgate Park, Fulwood, Preston Event

Left to right: Damian Gilks, PCC Councillor Robert Boswell and LCC Councillor Marcus Johnson

09 Highgate Park, Fulwood, Preston Event

The official opening and cutting of the ribbon with (left to right) Thomas Harrison, Abigail Hollinshead and Andy Rowett

06 Highgate Park, Fulwood, Preston Event 07 Highgate Park, Fulwood, Preston Event

11 Highgate Park, Fulwood, Preston Event 10 Highgate Park, Fulwood, Preston Event

The official ribbon cutting was performed by Andy Rowett, fund manager for Lancashire Environmental Fund, with Thomas Harrison and Abigail Hollinshead from the Fourth Fulwood Scout group. The work on Highgate Wood pathways was designed by Lorcan Moriarty, landscape architect and carried out by John Wade, Contractors, represented at the event today, by Jack Nicholson who said “It is nice to do something for the community and for such an excellent project”.

A group of fifty volunteers have spent time litter clearing and have been involved in fundraising with community events in the woodland area accruing £2,000. Other funds raised include a grant of £8,000 from the Lancashire County Council and £30,000 from Lancashire Environmental Fund.

17 Highgate Park, Fulwood, Preston Event 16 Highgate Park, Fulwood, Preston Event 15 Highgate Park, Fulwood, Preston Event 14 Highgate Park, Fulwood, Preston Event 13 Highgate Park, Fulwood, Preston Event 12 Highgate Park, Fulwood, Preston Event

Highgate Wood is situated in an area of land known as Highgate Park and has a wonderful and rich history extending over hundreds of years, today being an extremely picturesque part of Fulwood. Originally, a salubrious old property existed in the area just above the woodland and was known as Highgate Park

Highgate Park was a property owned and built in 1876 by Mr. James Gregson, machine maker, Preston. Gregson had purchased the land from Alderman John Goodair, of Preston, who intended to build a residence for himself on the higher part of the estate and made a road on the south eastern side not too far from where the Highgate Park residence was eventually built. Unfortunately, Goodair never actually built a property on the land although he intended to do so but sadly he died in 1873.

04 Highgate Park, Fulwood, Preston (plan view)

Present day plan of Highgate Wood

01 Aerial view of Highgate Park Fulwood c.1945

1940’s aerial view of the Highgate area showing the position of Highgate Park residence (Courtesy LCC Mario Maps)

02 Highgate Park, Fulwood, Preston 1900

Highgate Park residence as it was in 1900 (Pic: courtesy Preston Digital Archive)

03 Highgate Park, Fulwood, Preston 1960

Highgate Park residence as it was just prior to demolition in early 1960’s (Pic: courtesy Preston Digital Archive)

 

The Highgate Park residence was named after the Highgate Park estate and Gregson remained there until he died. The subsequent years saw the property fall into much dilapidation and in the early 1960’s it was demolished to make way for a housing estate with the namesake of the previously demolished property of James Gregson.

Have you visited the Highgate Wood yet and if you have what do you think of the project? Let us know in the comments below.

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