Berwick Parks Project

This web page contains information about the Berwick Parks Project

What is the Berwick Parks Project

The Berwick Parks Project has been set up to improve two parks in Berwick upon Tweed; Castle Vale Park and Coronation Park.  The parks sit on either side of Berwick's train station and contain a wealth of heritage and natural history.  They contain excellent views of the remains of Berwick Castle, which was demolished to make way for the East Coast Mainline in the 1840s.

The Heritage Lottery Fund have awarded £890,700 to Northumberland County Council, in partnership with Berwick upon Tweed Town Council and Castlegate Area Resident's Association to make major improvements to the two parks.  Footpaths, steps, railings, entrances, access, shelters, garden spaces and seats will be upgraded, as well as the return of water and lilies to the lily pond in Castle Vale Park. Signage and information will be provided in each park, bringing the parks back to life and back to the heart of the Berwick community.

Castle Vale Park

Castle Vale park Lily Pond

Castle Vale Park lies to the east of Berwick Train Station, on the northern banks of the River Tweed.  A long and narrow park, it was renowned for its horticultural displays and its heyday is fondly remembered by older Berwick residents.  The park land was donated to the town of Berwick by Mr John Cairns in 1928 and opened to the public in 1931. 

The park contains a lily pond, that once was filled with water and now with soil and plants, a rose garden and spectacular views of the Royal Border Bridge.  It links the north end of Tweed Street and Castlegate in the town centre to the New Road, a riverside walkway built in 1815. 

Castle Vale park is the starting point, or the finishing point depending on your direction of travel, of the Northumberland Coastal Path.

Coronation Park

Coronation Park and the White Wall of Berwick Castle

Coronation Park, found just to the west of the train station is also known as Tommy The Miller's Park. It was planted and opened to the public as a park in the Spring 1937 for the coronation of King George VI, although it had been originally intended to celebrate the coronation of Edward VIII, before his abdication.

This is a small park of about one acre, bordered to the north by Castle Terrace and to the south by a privately owned grazing field known as Tommy the Miller's Field.  This park contains
shrub beds and shelters, stunning views of the River Tweed and excellent views of the White Wall of Berwick Castle. Berwick Castle was demolished in the 1840s by the North British Railway so they could complete the railway line from Edinburgh to Berwick.

Parks for People

Parks for People is a funding programme administered by the Heritage Lottery Fund and supported by BIG Lottery which aims to regenerate parks of national, regional or local heritage for the value and enjoyment of local people.  The programme offers grants of between £250,000 and £5 million for projects which involve existing urban or rural green spaces designed for informal recreation and enjoyment, which are valued by local communities as part of their heritage. The parks must be freely accessible to members of the public, and actively involve local people in their running and activities.

Who is involved in The Berwick Parks Project

Northumberland County Council are the land owners and the lead organisation in this project, working in close partnership with Berwick upon Tweed Town Council and CARA (Castlegate Residents Association) to ensure the project meets the needs of the residents of Berwick upon Tweed and also attracts visitors to the town.

TGP Landscape Architects are the lead consultants on the project and ensure the many and varied strands required of a Heritage Lottery Funded parks project come together, including preparing the conservation statement, management plan, audience development plan, surveys, creating design plans and tender documents, interpretation and community consultation.

Project outline

In June 2011 Northumberland County Council was awarded £53,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop a full funding application to make improvements to Castle Vale Park and Coronation Park.  During the development stage of the project consultants will be employed to provide all of the information the Heritage Lottery Fund require to enable Northumberland County Council to submit an application for almost £1 million.

In December 2012 the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded the main delivery stage grant of £890,700, which when matched with funding from Berwick Town Council, Northumberland County Council and in-kind volunteer time, brings the project's total costs to £942,620.

Work on the Parks starts in March 2013, with the Tree Contract, which will remove some trees that have been found to be dangerous, inappropriately planted or self-sown; crown lifting and crown clearing others to remove dead wood and improve views; and removing ivy from some trees. 

It will be necessary to close some footpaths at some times during the work to ensure it can be carried out safely and signs and notices will be displayed when this has to take place.

The tree work clears the way for the main construction phase of the project which will start in september 2013 and run until spring 2014.

A Parks Development Officer is due to be appointed as part of the project and will be in post by June 2013, and will responsible for organising and leading events, volunteer activities and school and group visits to the parks, as well as for much of the maintenance of the parks.

The timescales for the project

  • February 2012 to August 2012 - consult local people and prepare funding application
  • August 2012 - submit application to the Heritage Lottery Fund
  • December 2012 - £890,700 awarded to the project from the Heritage Lottery Fund 
  • March 2013 - Tree contract work in both parks
  • March - May 2013 - Northumberland County Council invite tenders for main contract
  • June 2013 - Parks Development Officer appointed
  • July - August 2013 - Main contractors appointed
  • September 2013 - Spring 2014 - Main contract work takes place
  • January 2014 - Application for the Green Flag Award for each park
  • Summer 2014 - Official opening events for both parks

Get involved, find out more, tell us more

To get involved or for more information about the Berwick Parks Project please contact Emma Evans, Green Spaces Officer at Northumberland County Council on 01670 623509 or click here to send an email.

To join the mailing list for the project please click here to send an email or phone 01670 623509.

Local knowledge of the parks is vitally important to the project, if you have any information that you think we need to know please get in touch with Emma Evans, by phone on 01670 623509 or click here to send an email.

We are looking for things like old photos of the parks, stories of how the parks were used and regarded in the past, maybe you know someone who used to work in the parks.....please let us know.

Updates about the Berwick Parks Project will be posted on Northumberland County Council's facebook page and twitter, click here to go to the facebook and twitter pages and sign up to the Northumberland County Council twitter or facebook pages.