Borough community group gets another Green Flag Award
The Bridgers have once again been recognised for their work at Colliers Corner in Howe Bridge.
It is the latest in an impressive run of consecutive green flags The Bridgers have received for their work at the site on the corner of Lovers Lane and Leigh Road.
Colliers Corner is one of more than 2,000 parks and green spaces whose custodians’ hard work has been rewarded and comes in a year in which more people have appreciated the value of having open land and greenery on their doorstep than ever.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic has also made maintaining local areas on a voluntary basis more difficult as well.
The Bridgers chair Terry Daly said: “This year has been very challenging for everyone involved in community activities but because of the tremendous dedication, skill and commitment of all of our volunteers the challenges thrown at us have been overcome.
“We have managed to create an absolutely beautiful oasis at Colliers Corner.
“We have now won a Green Flag Award for about the past nine years.
“We are very lucky with our group. It is not the biggest but the commitment and enthusiasm is unbelievable. One of my hardest jobs is trying to harness it.
“I only have to send a text or an email to say what we are doing and they are there.
“It makes my life easier and makes the village look beautiful. It is a pleasure to work with them and I could not ask for more.”
The Bridgers started work on their long-term project to transform Colliers Corner in 1999, a year after the group was founded in Howe Bridge.
Previously the Railway Hotel, the land was derelict after the pub was knocked down and the group took on the considerable task of clearing away all the rubble and creating a green heart for the village at one of its most prominent junctions.
The site was named Colliers Corner in tribute to the area’s mining history. The old Howe Bridge pit stood behind it and there was also a row of small privately-owned mine shafts on Lovers Lane in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Mr Daly thanked Atherton Environment Projects, the Gardeners Bowling Club, Wigan Council and the area's ward councillors for their support of The Bridgers’ work.
The Green Flag Award is not the only recognition the volunteers have received as Colliers Corner and Howe Bridge has also received numerous accolades in the North West in Bloom and was a key part of the route when the borough as a whole took part in the national competition.
As well as the national awards in the green flag scheme, which is run by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, The Bridgers received the International Green Flag Award for Colliers Corner in 2017.
The scheme recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for their management across the United Kingdom and around the world.
Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “This year, more than ever, our country’s green spaces have been a lifeline and we know that millions of people have used them to relax, meet friends, exercise or simply escape for a short time.
“It is testament to the incredible dedication and hard work of everyone involved throughout the country that, despite the challenges faced, Colliers Corner and over 2,000 other groups has again achieved the highest international standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”
The Bridgers are always looking for more volunteers to help with their work in Howe Bridge. To find out more email Mr Daly at [email protected]