Going Green

We’re lucky to live in a borough where we are surrounded by greenery.

We’ve got beautiful South Pennine moorland all around us, the Yorkshire Dales, Lake District and Ribble Valley are a short drive away, and nearer still are award-wining parks, the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and a network of paths that will take you into the countryside in a short time.

This page looks at how we can protect and nurture our beautiful surroundings, not take them for granted, and help them grow for future generations to enjoy.

Don’t step on the grass!

We have six Green Flag award-wining parks on our doorstep – we like to think we’ve got more parks per head of population than anywhere else in the country (whether it’s true or not!). They all offer something a bit different:

There is also Brun Valley Forest Park which is just as good (it doesn’t have a Green Flag award but we don’t make a big deal of it or it gets upset!)

Go to the Park

The Go to the Park initiative was developed in 2016 by the council and Offshoots, a project run by local social enterprise Newground.

The partners developed and tested a new approach in seven of the town’s parks, seeking to maintain them at a lower cost, increase biodiversity and reduce CO2 emissions, and to mobilise volunteers to help deliver the approach. 

It’s now come to an end but the ethos of how we manage our parks in a sustainable way still continues.

Be a VIP (volunteer in parks)

A short film on the benefits of being a parks volunteer

Meadow management

We are changing how we maintain Burnley’s parks and green spaces in response to the climate emergency and the biodiversity crisis. The UK has lost 97% of wildflower meadows since the 1930s and meadows are now one of the rarest habitats in the UK.

diagram showing grass cutting levels throughout the year

Most grassland is still mown regularly throughout the growing season, but other areas we leave to grow as meadow where flowers, insects, reptiles and birds can thrive. Whether or not we cut the grass, and how often, depends on where it is and how it’s used. Reducing the frequency we cut grass helps to:

  • Increase biodiversity
  • Reduce CO2 emissions
  • Create more interesting landscapes
  • Save money

Trees, trees, trees

Plant a tree in ’23

A partnership between Burnley Leisure and Culture and the council has helped to secure funding through Trees for Cities, enabling us to plant 7,500 trees across the borough during the tree planting season between November 2023 and March 2024.

Find out how you can get involved with our 15 planting sites across the borough.

tree graphic

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