The Friends of Mercer Park are currently developing a project to incorporate a Sensory Garden into the Park, this has taken 10 years to come to fruition. Friends of Mercer Park with the backing of Clayton & Altham Community Association, Hyndburn Green Spaces Forum have been awarded monies from the Lottery Fund and Lancashire Environment Fund work will start mid February 2012 and shall be completed for early May 2012, The Sensory Garden is Gaudi inspired, Gaudi was inspired with forms of structure, nature, curvature and sculpting that followed the form of twists. The garden will have a scalloped shaped stone wall, within the walls will be paths that will consist of grass and herbs leading to a central mosaic (that local children created), raised beds of shrubs and plants four beds will represent each season spring, summer, autumn and winter and three beds to represent the different senses, touch, smell, hear and sight; there will stand 12 tall scented Cyprus Trees. The Friends of Mercer Park have asked for volunteers to come forward and help plant the beds as this will be a tactile and rewarding experience for all who wish to participate, several have put they names forward and even some of the local community groups are wishing to maintain it too. Friends of Mercer Park will also be holding various events within the Sensory Garden to promote it and show the community its values to them; and how it will also enhance the park and that through developing a work program it will be sustainable for several years to come.
The Friends of Mercer Park have been the main organisers for a large annual community event 'Lark in the Park'. The 'Lark in the Park' event grew each year and was highly successful for the local community.
Example In 2007, 'Lark in the Park' hosted the following events: Carnival, Procession of Floats, Rock Music Stage and Live Music, DJ and MC Stage and Workshops, Pinatta, Hawks and Owls, Circus Skills, Police Information, Climbing Wall, Fire Brigade Display- Saint John's Ambulance Display, Walkabout Theatre, Sea Cadets, Children's Fairground Rides, Dog Show, Bowling Tournament, Churches Together, Refreshments, Stilt Walking, Art and Crafts Workshop, Assault Courses, Sport for all.
Now other local community groups have taken ownership of their park and have held more events per year but on a smaller scale.
They have also organised weekend events such as Dog Fouling in the Park awareness days. Anyone who is interested in further information about The Friends Of Mercer Park group should contact the Parks and Open Spaces Department on the Parks Information Line 01254 388111 or Clayton Youth and Community Centre on 01254 397028
Friends of Mercer Park could not have achieved this without the continued support of Hyndburn Borough Councils Parks and Open Spaces department. Between them the Park was awarded Green Flag status in 2006-7 and has maintained it ever since.
This is the only park in the Borough, which occupies a flat site making it easily accessible for people with disabilities. In Mid 2004 a new playground was installed for inclusive play. Six entrances serve the park, parking within the park is restricted to disabled patrons only. East Lancashire P.C.T. has also placed walking markers within the park to encourage and promote a healthy wellbeing.
Mercer House and Park were left for use as a public museum and park under the terms of a charitable trust established in 1916 under the will of Miss Maria Mercer, John Mercers' last surviving daughter, who died in 1913. This trust deed was varied by the Charity Commissioners in 1981. In 2009, it was proposed the establishment of a Community Development Trust could manage and utilise the building as a catalyst for further community activities aimed at improving the quality of life for the people of Clayton-le-Moors through increased community access and use. Several local people along with the support of Hyndburn Borough Council achieved this and registered Mercer House as a charity under the name of Mercer House 1842, In 2010.