Parkland created next to Chester hospital

Works at the Countess of Chester Country Park in Upton are now complete, with a network of safe walking routes around the 47-acre site now open for public use.

The park was created by the Land Trust, which oversaw the installation of a series of pathways for walkers, cyclists and wheelchair users. The paths connect the park to local footpaths and the Shropshire Union Canal towpath, providing residents, as well as hospital staff, patients and visitors at the adjacent Countess of Chester Hospital with opportunities to explore the area and be more active.

Safety works have been completed with the construction of fences and bridges around the waterways.

Natural England's Paths for Communities fund provided £144,590 to create the pathways.

The Land Trust is the co-owner of the park, alongside the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Property Services and Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. The group also partnered with Cheshire West & Chester Council and Groundwork Cheshire.

The park will be managed and maintained in perpetuity by the Land Trust, a national charity dedicated to looking after open spaces for public benefit.

The Land Trust acquired the former landfill site from the Home & Communities Agency in 2012, along with a dowry of £650,000 to restore the land for the public. An additional £49,350 funding was provided by WREN, a not-for-profit business that awards grants to community projects.

Euan Hall, chief executive of the Land Trust, said: "The new network of all-weather paths not only opens up new ways for the residents of Upton and Blacon to stay fit outdoors, but it also provides local people with alternative and more environmentally-friendly ways to travel to work. In the coming years we plan to continue developing the park as a relaxing, green space for the local community and a haven for wildlife."

An official opening ceremony for the park will take place later this summer.

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