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Council leader makes first official visit to internationally recognised arboretum at Brunswick Park | Sandwell Council

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Council leader makes first official visit to internationally recognised arboretum at Brunswick Park

Published 9th September 2021

Brunswick park
Ian McDermott with Councillor Singh

Sandwell Council Leader Councillor Rajbir Singh this week visited Brunswick Park in Wednesbury to mark the park being given international recognition as an arboretum.

The park was given a First Level award in 2020 by ArbNet, the network of worldwide arboreta run by the top US-based Morton Aboretum and is the only arboretum in the West Midlands to have successfully applied for and been given this status. The status can only be achieved by meeting various criteria including most importantly not simply having a large number of trees but by having a wide variety of different trees which are labelled so that visitors can identify them.

Boasting over 400 trees of more than 50 species, including rare species such as the Holly Olive and Monkey Puzzle, which is now on the red list in its native habitat, the Grade II listed Brunswick Park was opened in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. The park offers a range of facilities including outdoor gym equipment, a children’s play area, a multi-use games area, tennis courts, a skate park area, a bandstand, a football pitch and circular walks.

Ian McDermott, Chair of the Friends of Brunswick Park, said: “In this time of global climate and health issues and with the space to grow trees in an urban environment growing ever smaller, the value of our local parks and open spaces has never been more important. The Friends Group understands this responsibility and worked with the council to go beyond the expectations and resource limitations to deliver a unique collection of trees in the heart of the Black Country. The award of Registered Arboretum for us was a fantastic recognition of the work done so far, but is only the start of the journey.”

Councillor Rajbir Singh, Leader of Sandwell Council, said: “Achieving registered status is a great acknowledgement of all the hard work put in by staff and volunteers alike.  It was great to be able to visit Brunswick Park and discover more about the wonderful variety of trees that are on our doorstep.  Sandwell is fortunate not just to have this fantastic park but a further 13 parks and green spaces that have won the Green Flag award so I would encourage everyone to get out there and make the most of them.”

The prestigious Green Flag award (www.sandwell.gov.uk/greenflag) is the national standard for parks and green spaces that are welcoming, safe and well-maintained with strong community involvement.

The Friends of Brunswick Park are also now working with the Friends of Dartmouth Park to help them achieve the same standards and possible accreditation. .

To get involved with the Friends of Brunswick Park, visit the ‘Friends of Brunswick Park – Wednesbury’ Facebook page.

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