To mark 50 years of UNESCO World Heritage, this 7-week series will celebrate some of the UK’s World Heritage landscapes. Starting with an overview of World Heritage values and the changing nature of the UK list, the series will aim to enthuse people about individual sites around the country, highlighting what makes each one exceptional, the advantages and challenges of being inscribed on the list, and the issues around sustainable future management of these global assets.
Birkenhead Park is widely acknowledged to be the earliest purpose-built and publicly funded urban public park in the UK. Designed in 1844 by Joseph Paxton, it was laid out in the picturesque manner, in response to the rapid growth of the urban population. The way its landscape was designed stirs the emotions and provides a feeling of countryside in an urban conurbation. Today, Birkenhead Park’s undulating parkland still provides a green oasis for everyone to enjoy. In April 2023, “Birkenhead the People’s Park” was officially included on the UK’s Tentative List as a potential future nomination for the UNESCO World Heritage List. It has exceptional value as an innovative and influential model for local authority funded urban parks and has continued to serve the social purpose for which it was created.