PLANS are being made to restore Lilford Park to its former glory by a group of volunteers with big ideas.

Now the Friends of Lilford Park are working with the Environment Agency and Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust to rejuvenate the park which has been the town's breath of fresh air for almost 100 years.

Once part of the Atherton Hall estate it was gifted to Leigh by John Powys the 5th Baron Lilford and 2014 will mark the 100th anniversary since it became a people's paradise.

Last Friday committee members from the Friends of Lilford Park group, along with Peter Alker and Mike King from Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust and Wayne Lancaster from the Environment Agency, met in the park to view the final stages of the remedial work taking place following the EA’s recent Flood Abatement Programme.

The Environment Agency provided funding to Wigan Culture and Leisure Trust to enable them to replace some of the trees that were casualties of that project.

An avenue of trees have been planted the full length of the park and dredging and replanting has been carried out at the wild life pond at the entrance to Lilford woods.

Linda Sykes, Secretary of the Friends of Lilford Park, explained: "We are currently a small band of local people, but we have big ideas for Lilford Park!

"We urgently need more people to join us so that our projects can progress at a faster pace. If you enjoy visiting Lilford Park and are interested in helping us to develop and improve its facilities, please get in touch"

Mike King from WLCT confirmed a wild flower meadow will be re-seeded and extended and more trees will be planted throughout the park’s grounds.

The Friends of Lilford Park was formed last year with the aim of improving the general infrastructure of the park. Top of their list is to refurbish the toilet block and try and raise funding towards this project.

WLCT have provided extra benches and the Friends are currently installing these and plan to repaint them along with the existing benches.

*If you'd like to join the Friends contact them via