Getting stuck in at your local green space can be fantastic for improving wellbeing – as the project at these magical gardens in Chorley has shown.
“This place, it’s like medication, really, but you don’t have to pay for it.”
- Phil, project volunteer
The legacy of millionaire soap magnate Lord Leverhulme, Rivington Terraced Gardens are spread across 20 hectares of land at the foot of Rivington Pike.
The Grade II listed gardens fell into disrepair following an arson attack in 1913 and Second World War damage.
Thanks to National Lottery funding, Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside are stabilising the park’s enchanting historic structures, revitalising its natural heritage and opening it up again to the public.
An army of committed volunteers have given over 58,000 hours of their time to the project so far, applying new skills they’ve learned as part of the project’s programme of activities.
Andrew Suter, Heritage Programmes Manager, said: “The volunteers' passion for the Gardens and their support for each other has been one of the stand-out successes of the project.”
“It’s humbling to see the impact a few hours working collectively can have on physical and mental health. A number of volunteers have expressed in private how their volunteering has helped them in other aspects of their life."
Phil, a volunteer whose story is recorded in a powerful project video, said: “This place, it’s like medication, really, but you don’t have to pay for it. Everyone gets stuck in... It’s like one big Rivington family.
"They’ve given me a new lease of life.”