Updated: 24 Dec 2013

FESTIVE PERIOD OPENING TIMES
The Gardens are open every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day

OPENING TIMES
From Saturday 9 March: 8.30am – 6pm
From Saturday 13th April: 8.30am – 8pm
From Saturday 4th May: 8.30am – 9pm
From Saturday 31st August: 8.30am – 7.30pm
From Saturday 14th September: 8.30am – 6:30pm
From Friday 11th October: 8.30am – 5pm
From Friday 1st November: 8.30am – 4pm
The gardens are open every day but opening hours will reflect the changing seasons, so please check before visiting to avoid disappointment.


The following information was in the original blog post…

The Festival Gardens are open at last according to the new Land Trust Festival Gardens website

The gardens will be open for short times until full opening hours are operational by Saturday 23 June.
The times are

1 – 4pm Fri 25 May 2012 and
1 – 4pm Tue 29 May 2012.
9.30am-12noon Fri 1st June 2012
10am – 4pm Sat 9 June 2012
9am – 2pm Wed 13 June 2012
8.30am – 7pm Tue 19 June 2012
8.30am – 7pm Wed 20 June 2012
8.30am – 7pm Thu 21 June 2012
8.30am – 7pm Fri 22 June 2012

BBC Merseyside is doing programmes from the site on Friday 22nd June.

A community event will take place on 23rd June which will mark the official permanent opening of the park.

The Trust has appointed three rangers to oversee the management of the space and engage the community on a daily basis and they will be drawing up a schedule of activities for everyone to get involved in.

Festival Gardeners
The ranger team would be delighted to hear from you if you would like to get involved with the Festival Gardens either through volunteering as a Festival Gardener, hosting events or activities in the gardens, visiting as a school or community group or becoming a corporate partner. Come and meet the friendly rangers at 1300 on Sunday 10 June at the main gates on Riverside Drive to view the gardens and ask any questions.
Picnic in the Park
Saturday 23 June 2012, 12 – 4pm
Come and enjoy the Festival Gardens with a picnic in the park, a treasure hunt, Tai Chi, face painting and live entertainment.Picnic blankets for everyone – just add food and friends!

Questions and Answers

Alan Carter of the Land Trust has provided a few answers to questions asked at a meeting with local residents.

Q. Opening times:
A. General operational hours will be 8.30am – 7pm, albeit this will change with the seasons.

Q. Will the gardens be available to book for private events? Would this involve closure to the public?
A. Potentially, although no plans at the moment.

Q. Will there be closures for maintenance?
A. This will depend on what maintenance or repair is required. General maintenance no, but we will be lead by H&S on this.

Q. Are you encouraging wildlife?
A. There is already quite a lot of wildlife on site, and this is something we are actively encouraging.

Q. Is the car park suitable for coaches? I foresee schools having visits, half day trips etc. Would their coach driver be able to able to unload children in the car park and stay there if necessary? Ditto visiting groups.
A. Yes

Q. Can we use the Gardens for our “Meet the Neighbours” event?
A. Potentially – lets discuss

Car Park:

Q. Car Park may become used by commuters as a car park for St Michaels Station – 5 mins walk away. This would not benefit genuine GFS visitors who may be unable to park.
A. We don’t think this will be a problem, but we will continue to monitor

Q. May be used by coaches visiting the city – Sefton Street and Riverside Drive near the Britannia Inn frequently have coaches parked up. (There do not appear to be any designated coach parking spaces on the site.)
A. We don’t think this will be a problem, but we will continue to monitor

Q. The gates would need to be opened/closed at the agreed Park opening times (dawn and dusk) which may cause difficulties particularly in winter if the car park is used by commuters/coaches who may return to their vehicles well after dusk. Warning signs would need to be posted. –
A. We will do this

Q. Visitors will almost certainly not expect to pay to park – there is no charge at other of the City’s Green Spaces – and as a result vehicles will be parked in the roads adjacent to the site as happened on one of the ‘open days’ when the car park was not open. This would not be acceptable to the local residents.
A. We do not plan at this stage to charge for car parking, although we will be asking for donations.

Q. Car parking will require some level of staffing to ensure fees are collected either manually or by machine. However, since there will be definite opening and closing times for the gates then the same staff could be used as parking attendants.
A. See above

Q. Clearly the Land Trust will have some idea of projected usage of the car park, the running costs and how much the car park might be expected to contribute to the overall GFS running costs.
A. See above

Q. Security. I have not noticed any camera coverage.
A. There is none at this stage for the site, although certain parts may have limited coverage

Q. Car park lighting – none. Either on the car park itself or on the paths from the site side entrance. This might prove a problem if the GFS decides to have any evening events – such as another Firework Display – which might finish after dark.
A. There is some lighting within the park, but none on the car park, however we do not envisage the car park being open when it is dark, unless for specific events, when additional lighting could be considered

Q. The car park could do with a large ‘EXIT’ sign at the parking end of the access road.
A. Noted

Q. Car park has no litter bins.
A. There are several bins around the site

Q. There is an ever present threat of ‘travellers’ in this area. Do Langtree/Land Trust have a contingency plan in place? For example is the status of the car park clear as to ownership so that should an event occur the legal wheels can be set in motion without delay.
A. We will continue to monitor this.

Site General:

Q. In general the site is not user friendly – no toilets; and no refreshments being the major problems.
A. Toilets and refreshments will be in place for when we open

Q. No smoking! It’s in the open air for Heavens’ sake! Is there a H&S issue with the methane still coming off the site? Is measuring for methane taking place on site and if so are there ‘danger levels’ set? At least could there be a ‘designated area’, with seating, for those who need to indulge.
A. This has now been reviewed. There is methane still generated form the site, but this is continually extracted and monitored and within safe levels.

Q. Is there a policy on alcohol? There is nothing nicer than a summer picnic on the grass with a chilled white wine. On the other hand there is nothing more unpleasant than an unruly group overindulging on super strength lager or cider. What can any GFS staff do in terms of control/ejection? Have Merseyside Police been consulted?
A. We have consulted with the police, and are working with them on getting the right balance in this area

Q. Dogs – will the site end up as so much of the city as little more than a dogs’ toilet?
A. Hopefully not, with your help, and also with responsible dog owners.

Q. My major thoughts are, considering the bad old days of trail bikes and so on, is SECURITY! What will it amount to?
A. We will have a number of people on site during opening hours, and also some security out of hours – we will continually monitor and review this.

Q. Is there a number that we can call if we spot anything?
A. Yes please call our ranger on 07795 800970

Q. Would they like to recruit volunteer wardens, guides, gardeners, “Friends of” (like at Calderstones) and so on?
A. Yes please – let me know if you need more info sheets and application forms