The Friends was established in 1976 as a response to the neglect of the park and the need for an organisation to represent the wider interests of Britain’s first public park.
Since its creation, the Friends have campaigned for the park’s conservation and restoration under its motto ‘That Which is Good Should be Preserved’. At the same time, Birkenhead Park was designated the first conservation area on the Wirral and the Friends play a major role as a key consultative body, providing responses to all planning applications and contributing to the Conservation Area Forum. Members of the Friends have produced leaflets on the history of the park, a quarterly newsletter, and a guide for visitors: they play an important role in leading walks through the Park and in giving talks on various topics.
This was due, in part, to the work of the Friends. Because of its international significance and its Grade 1 status in English Heritage’s Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, there had been increasing pressure to restore the park. In 2004 a major programme (£11.3m) was initiated, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the European Union and English Heritage, with the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral guaranteeing increased revenue support for at least a ten-year period. This has resulted in a major transformation of Birkenhead Park which can again be enjoyed in all its splendour.
The Friends seek to improve the profile of Birkenhead Park in the following ways:
Particularly in a period of enforced budgetary cuts, we really need your help. Your enthusiasm for Birkenhead Park, your skills, and above all your time will really make a massive difference to the way we can operate in the future. You can join the Friends as an ordinary member, or make a more substantial commitment as a Kemp or Paxton member. Volunteers are entitled to free membership (* following 35 hours of volunteering time).