Bid to turn old pit land into parkland

Charlotte Metters, local resident and Debbie Parkinson, Labour's candidate for Standish for the 2016 elections

Charlotte Metters, local resident and Debbie Parkinson, Labour's candidate for Standish for the 2016 elections

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A campaign has been launched to transform a former Wigan colliery site into a recreation area.

The Victoria Pit reclamation area in Standish could be turned into a community asset possibly with Green Flag status, an election hopeful has said.

Debbie Parkinson, who is standing in this year’s local elections as Labour’s candidate in the ward, is backing the campaign as part of her bid to join the council chamber.

Ms Parkinson said she will work alongside neighbourhood forum Standish Voice.

She said: “I regularly walk this area and talk to other residents who use it as informal recreational land, walking dogs, horse-riding, biking. The footpaths have become very difficult over this wet winter and I have been in touch with the council who have promised to repair them as soon as the weather allows.

“As well as the informal use by residents, there is all manner of wildlife, including deer in the area. I want to work with the local Standish Voice, and all other residents to see if we can get funding to link this as an adjunct to Ashfield Park, perhaps getting Green Flag status, and have it as a facility for environmental studies for local schools.

“There is a great opportunity here to turn a former derelict mining site into a real asset for our community. I’m looking forward to getting ideas from the people of Standish as to how we can do this.

“It will take money, but with the section 106 money from the new housing, we may be able to use that as partial funding to access other grants and turn this into a reality.”

The Reclamation Site is the former Victoria Colliery which was used as a spoil heap, and has a lot of buried rubbish, making it unviable for housing or industry.

Although close to the former Ashfield Estate, it was never part of it, and is separated from it by housing.

The full candidate lists for each ward will be published next week.