We launched our year-long 20th birthday celebration with the first of our 20K Trails. TEP Director Francis Hesketh has a personal challenge to do a 20K trail every month, with a TEP theme at the heart of each trail.
The March 2017 20K was called “Pride in the Proms” and celebrated TEP’s work on the Mersey Waterfront. We started in the mist and high tide at “Another Place”, the Antony Gormley sculptures affectionately known as the Crosby Iron Men. Back in 2005, TEP’s ecologists helped the artist secure planning permission for the installation which has now drawn millions of visitors to a unique stretch of coast which combines scenic views, sweeping sands and industrial heritage.
We then followed the Leeds-Liverpool Canal down to the Pier Head. The Leeds-Liverpool canal runs through Bootle and is undergoing regeneration, as new development turns towards the canal and the heritage of the canal and its artefacts is used as a focus. TEP’s urban designers prepared a BURA-award winning masterplan for part of the canal.
Arriving at Pier Head, we stopped for a drink at Albert Dock. There’s another TEP link here, because our land surveyors regularly carry out water safety inspections for Homes and Communities Agency who own several of the docks and waterfront areas, keeping them in good condition for visitors and businesses coming to the World Heritage Site.
We then dragged slightly weary legs along the Mersey waterfront to Otterspool Park in South Liverpool. A really popular viewpoint and play area for generations of Scousers, TEP’s landscape team designed a £1.4m renovation scheme including a large play area, railings, entrance features, seating and art. This included the re-installation of “Sitting Bull” by Dhruva Mistry. A 2.8m high sculpture commissioned for the 1984 Liverpool Garden Festival, it had lain in storage for decades, before being re-installed at Otterspool.
Francis commented, “We had a great day exploring the Mersey waterfront. It reminded us of what can be achieved by a sustained and well-funded vision for regeneration. 20 years ago, these were neglected spaces which have been turned into enjoyable and attractive places to live and visit; using good design, art, community vision and an sustained injection of seedcorn funding to kickstart the regeneration”
Our 20K Trails are part of TEP’s 20:20 Vision, our challenge to raise funds for Sightsavers and local charities. Will you help us to help these charities?
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