A FORMER Wirral landfill site has been transformed into a beauty spot that opened to the public today after a multi-million regeneration project.
Cutting the ribbon at Port Sunlight River Park's gates this afternoon was Wirral South MP Alison McGovern.
It took place during a ceremony watched by more than 100 people, which included invited guests and walkers.
The site was used for landfill from 1991 to 2006 and is owned by waste management firm, Biffa. It was re-developed, at a cost of £2.3m, by the Land Trust.
It now features wildflower meadows, grasslands and picturesque views of Liverpool’s skyline. The 28-hectare park is set to become a haven for families and dog walkers.
More than 12,000 trees have been planted on the land that was once home to Bromborough Dock, with drainage work, viewing areas and soon-to-be-installed park benches all helping to create a spot that is sure to prove popular with Wirral’s walkers.
As part of the improvements, the Land Trust laid down a new road surface on Dock Road North, which will offer a smoother approach for visitors and will also offer additional parking.
The park will be managed by service users of Wirral Autistic Society as part of a scheme to develop life skills.
After cutting the ribbon this afternoon, Alison McGovern told the Globe: "It's probably one of my top three best ever days of my job.
"It's giving people back something they have missed for a long time; access to the riverfront, a beautiful view and a country park with beautiful wildlife and flowers, right next to the banks of the river Mersey.
"The dock was given over to landfill about 25 years, a whole generation, ago.
"All my life this has been somewhere blocked off to Wirral people.
"I'm from Bromborough and I've never been able to go on to the site as a public site before.
"It just means so much to have it back. It belongs in public hands, where it should be, and I just hope everyone enjoys it."
Developments will continue once Port Sunlight River Park opens, with a ranger’s office and public toilets all part of future plans.
Additional land previously owned by Unilever has also been taken on by the Land Trust which means that once fully developed, the park will be an impressive 25 hectares.
Euan Hall, chief executive of the Land Trust, said: "It's fantastic to be able to open the park.
"This is what the Land Trust is all about; opening derelict land for the community.
"It may have taken three years to get here, but it's great that we have finally been able to do so."
Robin Bush, chief executive of Wirral Autistic Society, said: "It's a huge day for the society and it's the first time we have been involved in a project such as this, working with a in partnership with a local organisation to develop a community amenity.
"Our mission is to ensure the park is kept in tip-top condition. It's not so much that it will create jobs, but it will help equip service users involved in the work with life skills."