Work has begun on the Mandela 8 bridge and island space. This project was originally closely linked to the refurbishing of the lake in 2020. The lake funding was contingent on the Mandela 8 project. Sadly, because of Covid and other factors, the Mandela 8 project was delayed, while all park users were delighted by the improvements to the lake.
So, in the meantime we have experienced the huge benefits to wildlife as result of the lake refurbishment and borehole insertion. While the current works will inevitably be disruptive, FOPP have been assured by Liverpool City Council that, at all times, wildlife will be protected. FOPP has asked for the results of a very recent bird survey carried out by the Council.
In 1842, when the park opened, postcards from that time show a beautiful bridge to the island at the exact site where the new bridge will be. Sadly over the years that bridge fell into disrepair.
As Chair of FOPP I am supportive of the Mandela 8 project. It should create a peaceful and beautiful space for learning and reflection on the island (see attached), linking the park forever to the memory of Nelson Mandela, and the anti-apartheid campaign that so many local people were involved in. In 2013, when Nelson Mandela died, the local community created a moving memorial to him at the Sunburst Gates. We (FOPP) dedicated the trees we were planting at the time to his memory. Since that time the Mandela family has visited the park on several occasions to celebrate Mandela day., hosted by Mandela 8 .Since that time Mandela 8 has worked on many projects, particularly involving young people, to celebrate his legacy and values. The works in Princes Park are part of this.
As FOPP we have tried to liaise with the Council and Mandela 8 regularly over these past few years. As part of the project, we have been asking for improvements to the park infrastructure, more and better bins, better signage, both within the park and to the park, and other assets like e.g. a mobile café.
We were not aware, until recently, that work was due to begin, and we are hoping for an update from the Council soon. We understand that the works should be ready for an official launch by the Mandela family in the week of July 18th .
I very much hope that the above and attached explain the origins of this project, and FOPP involvement. For more detailed information concerning the bridge and lake please see the attached.
And Mandela 8 website: https:www.mandela8.org.uk/nelson-mandela-memorial-to-be-unveiled-in-liverpool-this-july/
All the best
Katy Gardner, Chair FOPP
Finally, we understand that not everybody is comfortable with the creation of a bridge to the island. For those who are still anxious please contact your local councillor (Lucille Harvey) and council officer (Laura Carter)
FYI there is also a petition about this, created by some who are worried, completely separate from FOPP https://chng.it/RkHznHBPzp
To see a timeline of the Bridge to the Island please visit Friends of Princes Park L8