Designed by renowned landscape gardener Joseph Paxton and opened on 5th April 1847, Birkenhead Park is widely considered to be the World’s first publicly funded municipal park and was the impetus for the creation and development of public parks across the World. Affectionally referred to as “The People’s Garden” – a phrase coined by famous American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead – Birkenhead Park represented a place where everyone was welcome to freely visit and enjoy, no matter their background. Its unique design incorporates architectural and horticultural features from across the World, shown through its iconic listed buildings such as the Swiss Bridge, Roman Boathouse and Grand Entrance, whose impressive structure boasts a Greek Classical design; whilst also showcasing specimen trees and creating illusions of sinuous rivers.
Throughout history Birkenhead Park has acted as a lifeline for its local community, supporting the town through two global conflicts and most recently – the Coronavirus Pandemic. In the early 21st century, Birkenhead Park underwent significant restoration with major funding awards from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the European Union via the Objective One fund, and Wirral Council; which saw Birkenhead Park transformed from its 1980’s decline. The historic site is a Grade I listed landscape in English Heritage’s Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, and is maintained by Wirral Council’s Parks and Countryside Service, supported by the Friends of Birkenhead Park who remain committed to ensuring the park’s continuing success.