Awards for Oakwell

Oakwell Hall has been recognised as one of the top country parks in England, after grabbing a fistful of top awards.

Awards for Oakwell

Recently the Kirklees Council owned 110-acre site in Birstall gained its 16th Green Flag Award along with the prestigious Green Heritage Site accreditation for the third consecutive year – the only site in Kirklees to hold the status.

Earlier in the year Oakwell became one of only three sites in Yorkshire and Humberside to gain Country Parks Accreditation from Natural England, the government’s natural environment adviser. It is among just 32 sites in the whole country to hold the award.

The site has also received a Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice 2020 commendation, putting the attraction in the top ten per cent of sites in the world among the travel website’s millions of reviewers. In addition, VisitEngland has awarded the park its Quality Rose Marque for 2020/21.

Councillor Walker, Cabinet member for Environment said:

“These awards show how valuable the country park is to local visitors and those from further afield.’

Having experienced a really busy period through the pandemic, the Oakwell site has offered a vital green space for people to reconnect with nature and improve their well-being’

As the country enters a second lockdown, our open spaces are more important than ever,  and whilst the museum, shop, café and toilets will close, visitors will still be able to enjoy the beauty of the park as we move through autumn into winter.”

What is the Green Flag Award scheme? 

The Green Flag Award scheme is managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. It sets the benchmark for well-managed parks and green spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.

What other awards does Oakwell Hall have? 

Oakwell Hall is also one of just 109 winners of the coveted Green Heritage Site Accreditation for its management of the parks historic hall. The accreditation is supported by Historic England.

More information about Oakwell Hall

Run by Kirklees Council with a dedicated team of staff, volunteers and friends, Oakwell Hall’s beautiful countryside is managed for public and wildlife benefit and caters for people with a wide range of interests and abilities.

Formed from a mix of old woodland, farmland and a reclaimed colliery, the country park surrounds the stunning Elizabethan hall and its walled gardens. Well-marked footpaths – with many areas accessible to wheelchair users – bridleways, cycle routes, art and sculptural features are among the things that have helped boost the site’s reputation.

The only other sites in the Yorkshire and Humberside region currently holding the Natural England country parks accreditation is Shibden Hall, in Calderdale, and Pugneys Country Park, in Wakefield.

4 comments

  • Well deserved. Oakwell has been a godsend for local family walks during lockdowns this year.

    As it’s been demonstrated how valuable the park is to the local community, can any funds be found to resurface the car park closest to the play area? The size and depth of the potholes is getting ridiculous now, even if they do make for good welly walk splashing!

  • Outstanding achievement! Congratulations to Council, staff, volunteers, Friends and visitors! As always, nothing succeeds like success, nothing succeeds like community spirit, especially when Council officers and staff promote and resource it.

    Special mention of Greenhead Park because I know it well and didn’t realise how great and varied its resources and programmes are. Other parks in Kirklees have been praised in the article above, deservedly, I’m sure.

    Lockdown and social restrictions have encouraged people to exercise more, especially by walking and cycling. I walked the Kirklees Way this summer, not in a continuous sequence but in a disjointed series of about 8 walks spread over two to three weeks. The Way is a collection of existing footpaths tracing the boundaries of Kirklees. It’s about 110km (70miles) long. It crosses and shares other paths such as the Dearn Way, Barnsley Boundary Walk. Like the Parks’ riches the Way was an eye-opener to me — the range of landscape in Kirkless, and the wealth of (usually) well-used and well-marked footpaths is tremendous. You might think you know the area but a few days of rural/urban footpath-walking shows how much of its sights and views are hidden from everyday view by trees and buildings.

    Look at the Walking page in the Leisure and Culture section of Kirklees Council’s website — it shows a wealth of information and opportunities, and leads to other websites covering this area and its riches.

    NB:
    I’m a Londoner and I lived in East London and Surrey all my life. I retired and moved to Dalton in 2015. I’m not employed by the Council and I have no financial or political interest in praising them.

  • It all sounds very grand but the harsh realities are 1. The children’s play areas are run down and neglected 2. The car park is pot holed and also neglected 3. There aren’t enough litter bins 4. the paths are neglected The council leaders should go and see for themselves and not rest on the considerable efforts of the volunteers who really make it work

  • This is absolutely fabulous for the Oakwell site and Kirklees. The accolades highlight it as a visitor attraction already, If the nearby parks including Batley’s Wilton Park off Bradford Road, Jessop Park, Healey Lane Batley, Crow’s Nest Park in Dewsbury and the exclusive Diamond forest of Dewsbury Country Park, could easily achieve the same status as Oakwell very soon the area could become very attractive to many visitors from far away and more lovely for all residents. Cllr Walker is correct that these places are more important than ever. Many years ago Woodkirk pleasure gardens attracted many visitors by train and later thousands attended the opening of Batley Park, new of the gift of Jessop Park made news in London in 1929. Like a Phoenix from the ashes this great area is no way finished and will be better than it was. I have faith in the divine this area of the most wonderful parks shall manifest.There’s no doubt that in turn will make the area prosperous once again, shops will again open and not close, there was time for hard toil, time for healing and helping and time for appreciation and enjoyment of what we have. Love where weliveX10!

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