About the Fields
Park Fields is an exciting place! By day children play football and walkers enjoy the open space. Birds of prey fly over the Cowfield searching for food and ground - nesting birds make their nests and raise their chicks. By night owls can be heard screeching, hooting and hunting for food: small mammals scurry towards the hedges to a place of safety. Bats swoop along the treelines catching insects in the darkness! All this is often unobserved, but people who know the fields well want to protect this beautiful and special place so that future generations can enjoy it.
Local people who have known Park Fields throughout their lives joined together in 2007 to become “The Friends of Park Fields”.
A Natural Haven
Since 2007 the Friends have developed an ambitious plan to create an outdoor space where people can enjoy the many benefits of the countryside. One of our first projects was to create a "Cheshire Grass Meadow" and over £25,000 was raised to achieve this.
Our many other achievements include erecting Notice Boards, installing benches, improving access points suitable for wheelchair and pushchair use. Volunteers have been involved in layering and replanting hedgerows and in sowing the Wildflower Meadow as well as many other activities.
A ''Bee Hotel'' was built by local volunteers, and many hours of "strimming" helps to keep benches and pathways free of weeds.
Volunteers helped to maintain the field by ensuring the hay is cut and removed and the hedges are managed.
Volunteers have helped to remove old barbed-wire fences before new ones were erected. In 2012 volunteers planted a new hedgerow along the cycle path at the north-westerly side of the Cowfield, planting a selection of native hedgerow plants, including Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Dog Rose, Hazel, Rowen.
The sowing of the Wildflower Meadow in 2013/14 involved many local residents and was a day to remember as friendships were formed in the May sunshine. Other volunteers have mended broken fences, strimmed pathways and filled dangerous holes made by over enthusiastic dogs!
Local people visit the site frequently.... some, two or three times a day, to enjoy the peace and beauty of the fields. The benefits are many: friendships are made, exercise is taken and a sense of wellbeing is generated from being at one with nature in a beautiful setting.
Throughout the seasons of the year we see changes. In Spring we see the grass begin to grow and the Cowslips bob their heads in the breeze, trees come into leaf and catkins dance in the wind. In the Summer, the grass is high, strewn with wild flowers and wild life thrives whilst food is plentiful. Autumn comes and the haycrop is taken and the trees take on shades of gold and russet. In Winter the winds blow and sometimes the whole field is covered in a blanket of snow and a strange quietness envelopes the land, whilst birds and fieldmice search for food.
The Recreation Area
The older generation will remember many activities taking place on the recreation area of Park Fields. On the 5th November, for example, the autumn sky was usually alight with a bonfire and fireworks display. Stalls sold baked potatoes and treacle toffee, and carousels and other fairground rides were enjoyed by all
A travelling circus was an exciting annual event, and charity Marathon runs began and ended on the field. Gymkhanas were held and the field was filled with horse boxes and fences over which all ages of riders would compete for a prize.
These days, Community youth football matches are played on Saturdays and Sundays where youngsters hone their football skills. Walkers, joggers and dog-walkers can be seen on every single day of the year, enjoying the open space and taking their exercise.
Local residents use the field as a shortcut between Neston and Parkgate. Walking groups meet up, families bring their children to enjoy picnics, and to play rounders, football and cricket. The horse event, known as the Wirral Ride begins and ends on Park Fields The field (and whole site) is open to the public for 365 days a year and is constantly in use.
The recreation area is also used for car and horse box parking during equestrian events and for overspill car parking for the annual Neston Cricket Club Charity event.
More unusual pastimes include, metal detecting, bird-watching, kite flying (large and small) including a kite buggy, model aircraft and glider flying and recently drone and quadcopter flying.
All these activities make Park Fields an important and much loved open space for the local community, many of whom have used it all their lives.
On average around 100 people visit the field each day, which means over 36,500 visit the site each year, probably many more!