Giving the People's Garden some Tender Loving Care
We did it
On 4th September 2023 we successfully raised £13,340 with 50 supporters in 42 days

We help maintain the Park itself and our Community Garden supports biodiversity within the Birkenhead Park Conservation Area

by Friends of Birkenhead Park in Birkenhead, England, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

Thank you to all our very generous supporters who have enabled us to raise more than our original objectives.  We are extending our work in the Garden and Park.

Our first scheme is for a former bowling green to be converted into a wildflower meadow in the buffer zone of the potential World Heritage Site near the Grand Entrance.  We shall immediately consult on proposals within the more sensitive Park area to ensure that schemes of biodiversity, tree planting, colour beds and wildflower meadows are in harmony with long term heritage proposals for the Park made by Wirral Council.

In the Community Garden we will plant more trees, renew compost bins, improve water supply for periods of drought, and bring on plants and trees for transfer to the Park.

Some of the extra funding will be used to recruit more volunteers to extend the works of biodiversity enhancement, maintain their condition in succeeding years and support administration of these projects in the long term.

Birkenhead Park - The People's Garden!


About us1684425225_img-20210602-wa0008.jpg

The Friends of Birkenhead Park was established, to represent the wider interests of the world's first publicly funded park. The motto ‘That Which is Good Should be Preserved’ was coined at its outset in 1976 when the Park had become neglected.

We help maintain the Park to Green Flag standards and have worked with Wirral Council to achieve the Park's inclusion on the  UK's UNESCO World Heritage Site tentative list.


(Photographs Courtesy of Ed Barnes Liverpool Echo)

The importance of Birkenhead Park

Renowned as the first publicly funded park in the world when it opened in 1847, Birkenhead Park was designed by Joseph Paxton in the traditions of the English Landscape School. The lakes with their sinuous paths enclosed by mounds, the architecture of the Grand Entrance, the Lodges, Swiss Bridge and Roman Boathouse, gave the public, a quality of  design which had only previously been seen in significant private parks.


The relatively new town of Birkenhead had been designed on a grid system. Therefore, the elegant form of the Park with its curving paths and carriage drive was a welcome contrast to the rectilinear streets. With mounds surrounding some of the features of the Park, there was and remains, a series of surprise views around every twist and turn for residents and visitors alike.

Each of the lodges, built at main entrances to the Park, demonstrate a variety of styles. The Italian, Gothic, Central and Norman lodges are all so very different though the Grand Entrance, with its attached north and south lodges, could best be described as the Jewel in the Crown.

 Further into the Park the visitor will find the Roman Boathouse and Swiss Bridge, both structures of great character and beauty, seen across the smooth waters of the Lower Lake.


 The Rockfall, created with flat boulders taken from the excavations of Birkenhead Docks, has been a playground for budding mountaineers ever since the Park opened. Was it these crags which inspired former Birkenhead schoolboy Andrew "Sandy" Irvine, with George Mallory, to attempt the 1924 Everest climb?


In 1851, four years after the Park opened, and at the age of 28, Fredrick Law Olmsted, an American visited Birkenhead Park for the first time. So impressed with what he saw, Olmsted said of the Park “Five minutes of admiration, and a few more spent in studying the manner in which art had been employed to obtain from nature so much beauty, and I was ready to admit that in democratic America there was nothing to be thought of as comparable with this People’s Garden.” Olmsted went on to become a landscape architect, journalist, social critic, and public administrator. He is remembered as the creator of Central Park in New York where many of Birkenhead Park’s features can be found. The inspiration that Birkenhead Park has provided over its 175 years makes it an influential and important site of World Heritage.

In July 2022, Wirral Council, with assistance from the Friends of Birkenhead Park, submitted a successful application to be included on the UK’s Tentative List for World Heritage Site Inscription. Wirral Council, with the involvement of stakeholders, now has to persuade the UK government to choose and put forward the Park for inscription as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The Edward Kemp Community Garden and Growing Area


The Edward Kemp Community Garden and Growing Area is a project that promotes biodiversity and enables children and adults in community and marginalised groups (due to ethnicity, disability, or sexuality), to learn about and grow, fruit and vegetables in an environmentally beneficial way.


Conservation and nature

Conservation plays an important role in the work we do both in the Park and in our Garden. Our aim is that our volunteers will recognise why and what they are doing and will understand the positive impact their work has on wildlife and environments. We have recently planted 30 trees which will be grown on to replace stocks in the Park which were lost due to storms.




We encourage our volunteers to develop knowledge, skills and confidence. Through their experience we hope that volunteers will benefit from this link with nature and their community.

At Events


Our volunteers are regularly seen in the Park helping support Park rangers and staff at activities of all kinds. We attend those events to promote the work of the Friends and to inform members of the public of the Park's rich heritage. In addition, we give talks to local community groups and arrange walks and lectures to those who visit the Park. These have included such diverse organisations as the Victorian Society of the UK and the Frederick Law Olmsted Society from America.

Social Events for Volunteers and in The Community.


Our project

The Friends of Birkenhead Park are fundraising for a project to develop the work it carries out in both the Park and the associated Edward Kemp Community Garden.

 We aim to plant trees and shrubs for the Park and Garden. We will sow new wildflower areas and extend the pond and bog in the Kemp Garden to encourage and widen biodiversity.

 To do this we need landscaping supplies and plants, associated tools, and protective equipment along with help for utilities costs such as water, electricity and communications. We also need funds for community events to foster the wellbeing of groups engaged with us in the Park and to promote the history and importance of the Park through walks and talks for Heritage Open Days encouraged by Historic England each September.



If we meet our target, we will use the extra money to purchase more plants, seeds, tree saplings, and any additional gardening tools and personal protective equipment. We also hope to install a new electric water pump to move collected water from water butts to top up our pond and bog areas as well as run a waterfall feature to assist aeration of the pond. With rising costs of energy, we need also to change lighting in our cabin to low energy led and fit movement sensors to reduce bills. We would also like to improve our communications abilities via a better broadband connection.

Target exceeded

Our first task would be to thank all of our very generous supporters for helping us get past the target figure! Next, we will continue to expand our work in the Garden and Park to further promote biodiversity, tree planting and more extensive wildflower meadows. Additionally, the extra funding will enable us to purchase branded protective work wear for our volunteers are supporting Park staff at events. Not only does this prevent unauthorised persons acting as one of our volunteers. It also advertises our presence to event organisers and the public.


If our work appeals to you but you are not in a financial position to help, why not think about becoming a Volunteer? For more information, please visit our website


(Photograph courtesy of Ed Barnes Liverpool Echo)


The Friends have amazing volunteers and beneficiaries, one Volunteer wrote:-

“A Peaceful Place” There is no such thing as perfect!, we are all humans living in a human world, “Accept”= good= well done and wonderful. Twice a week in a golden hour or two, I cast to earth a seed, up there came a small plant, “Wow” then it grew so tall.  It is at this point, in profound stillness, that the sound of birds can be heard, and in the sweetness, friendship can be seen.  It is refreshing so come along and join us HERE today”.  Anon.

Liz Barrington says "I started to volunteer at the Kemp Garden in January 2014 and have enjoyed every minute of it.  The Garden is a lovely haven in the middle of Birkenhead and I have helped at events in Birkenhead Park and other venues".

                                                    Thank you for your support!      

Here are a few photographs of what we hope to repair / renew with the money from your pledges.



This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

Pledge £10 to the Friends of Birkenhead Park and receive a membership valid until 30 March 2024. You will receive a copy of our regular newsletter and invites to our Member's meetings which are held in the Park's Visitor Centre.

£15 or more

£15 Reward

Pledge £15.00 and you will receive a Birkenhead Park mug. Rewards will be sent out on the Friday of each week subject to availability. The Friends reserve the right to alter the reward for an alternative of similar value.

£20 or more

£20 Reward

Pledge £20 and you will receive a Birkenhead Park cap subject to availability. The Friends reserve the right to alter the reward for an alternative of similar value.

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