The Friends of Hurst Grange Park
Within a mile of Preston City Centre, occupying the southern escarpment above the River Ribble, Penwortham’s Hurst Grange Park is quite simply unique. The formal landscaped park of rolling hills, valleys and woodland created in Victorian times around a long gone mansion, leads to a wonderful country park which is nationally recognised as a Biological Heritage Site, truly a hidden jewel. Ancient meadows studded with rare and beautiful wild flowers in their season, buzzing with wildlife, and studded with ponds, provide an ever changing panorama throughout the year. These age old meadows are rare indeed today and rank amongst the best in the country. In June, pink spires of the not so Common Spotted Orchid pierce the meadow in their thousands, accompanied by Yellow Rattle and Ox Eye Daisies, it only lasts ten days or so, but what a show it is!
The five ponds are home to the rare and endangered Great Crested Newt, and many species of Damsel and Dragonflies, including the Emperor, 4 Spotted Chaser and a large Red Damselfly was spotted emerging this month, Moths abound.
The woodland and meadows are alive with bird life, with woodpeckers, owls, jays amongst many other species, and there are also several types of bats.
The formal park area has much to offer, including an excellent play area, and in spring the banks are smothered in wild daffodils. Recent planting by the Friends in this area has included the establishment of a bog garden and augmentation of the existing wild flower stock.