Picnic time in new park

Work on St Catherine's Park, Lostock Hall. (L-R) Cliff Hughes, Chairman of the board of Trustees at St Catherines Hospice; St Catherines nurse Samantha McCann; Stephen Greenhalgh, Chief Executive of St Catherines Hospice; Councillor Alan Ogilvie, South Ribble Borough Councils Armed Forces Champion; and Councillor Phil Smith, South Ribble Borough Council cabinet member for Regeneration and Leisure.

Work on St Catherine's Park, Lostock Hall. (L-R) Cliff Hughes, Chairman of the board of Trustees at St Catherines Hospice; St Catherines nurse Samantha McCann; Stephen Greenhalgh, Chief Executive of St Catherines Hospice; Councillor Alan Ogilvie, South Ribble Borough Councils Armed Forces Champion; and Councillor Phil Smith, South Ribble Borough Council cabinet member for Regeneration and Leisure.

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South Ribble’s first new park in 40 years is to be officially opened next month.

Complete with an iconic Inglis Bridge, sensory garden, wild bluebell wood and nature trail, St Catherine’s Park in Lostock Hall is the first of the Central Parks to be completed.

To mark the milestone, a Picnic in the Park will be held on June 12 to coincide with the Queen’s 90th birthday.

Councillor Phil Smith said it was an “incredibly exciting step forward”.

He added: “Central Parks is an impressive scheme that will see the biggest new park in the North West created. Fundamentally, it will not only provide another first class park in South Ribble, it’ll also protect swathes of our beautiful green space from future development - providing a lasting legacy from the council to future generations.”

The new park marries council-owned land, formerly known as Dandy Brook Park, with open space belonging to St Catherine’s Hospice. New footpaths have been created to ensure it is fully accessible for wheelchair users and prams.

Lorraine Charlesworth of St Catherine’s Hospice said: “The development of St Catherine’s Park has been an important part of our plans in recent years to open the hospice grounds up to more people.

“We want to invite our community in to enjoy the parkland – from the wetlands area to the sensory garden – and to make use of the facilities at our onsite café and community hub, The Mill.”

The picnic will start at 1pm. There will be live music, a barbecue and a magician.

The Vice Lord Lieutenant Colonel Alan Jolley will unveil a plaque to declare the park officially open at 3.30pm. The Inglis Bridge will be opened at 3.45pm followed by a toast to the Queen at 4pm.