Haslam Park is situated in Ashton, north west of Preston. It was opened in 1910 on land given to the people of Preston by the daughter of a local mill owner. Some of its original Victorian features still remain, one of which is an avenue of Lime trees.
At the far end of the avenue raised rose beds in a formal style are a 21st century addition. Another newer addition is The Sensory Garden designed and built by the Friends in 2008. This is a place were everyone can experience the smell, sight, sound and feel of plants. The beds of varying heights contain plants selected for their sensory properties. There are aromatic herbs such as Lavender and Thyme waving grasses, rustling bamboo, soft furry plants and some with shiny or prickly leaves. Ornamental trees herbaceous perennials and spring bulbs provide colour throughout the year. It appeals especially to children. They love being allowed to feel and smell the plants. There are no 'Do Not Touch' or 'Keep of The Grass' signs here.
The Friends maintain the Sensory Garden and Rose beds. They also work with the Parks Department to ensure the formal areas of the park are kept to a high standard. The park does not have a Ranger.
The Park has a very homely feel. Visitors come to walk, with or without a dog. It is popular with families who come to play, picnic and enjoy a the safe green space.
The Local Nature Reserve (LNR) was designated in 2006. It occupies an area of land attached to the park that was farmed up to the 1970's.
It's varied habitat consists of hedgerows, woodland, wildflower meadows, open grassland, a wetland and a community orchard. Two fresh water brooks run through and the Lancaster Canal forms one of its boarders. It supports a healthy range of flora with approximately 318 species. Fauna records currently stand at 12 mammals, 37 Lepidoptera, 12 Odonata and 72 resident or visiting birds plus invertebrates and amphibians. Since 2014 the species records have been submitted to LERN.
The reserve is a favorite for naturalists especially bird watchers. They advise and assist FoHP in improving habitat for birds. The most recent addition being a Kestrel box in which two chicks were reared last year.
It is also visited by locals and people from further afield who come to watch wildlife and enjoy a pleasant walk in a peaceful, safe green space.
The orchard consists of 44 apple trees and 8 pears. The apples are Lancashire heritage varieties which were in danger of disappearing due to being considered non commercial for todays market.
FoHP work closely with a Lancashire Wildlife Trust officer and volunteers to create and maintain habitats on the reserve. We also work with local and national groups on various projects and are supported by Preston City Council.
We raise money to fund a variety of projects.