An iconic Farnworth comic has thrown his support behind a campaign launched by Rivington Heritage Trust this month.

Dave Spikey, of Phoenix Nights, has pledge his support to the 'Squarea' initiative which is raising funds to maintain Rivington Gardens by allowing members of the public to sponsor a patch of land in the Japanese Garden, the Italian Lake, the Dell, the Woodlands, or the Lawns on the gardens.

The gardens has struggled for funding over the past year due to the coronavirus with this fundraiser hoping to pay towards the maintenance of the gardens which costs over £100,000 per year.

Dave Spikey has backed the 'Squarea' initiative, sharing his many memories of the gardens.

Dave said: “Rivington was always like an adventure playground when we were children - and there aren’t many places like that around here. Growing up in a two-up two-down near the mills in Bolton, it was great that you could just hop on a bus and be in the countryside in 20 minutes. Both of my children went to Rivington School and we would often spend weekends walking and cycling around the area.

“When I used to drive home from gigs, you always knew you were home when you saw Winter Hill. I’ve mentioned it in my acts, pointing out that since we never win medals in the Winter Olympics, we should host them at Rivington Pike and confuse the Austrians by getting them to slide down on a bin lid or take part in the ‘old men clearing a path relay’.

“It’s brilliant to be involved in this campaign and getting my certificate is almost as good as winning a BAFTA.”

Richard Galloway, a director of Rivington Heritage Trust, says: “These Gardens have such an important place in people’s hearts and ‘Squarea’ gives them a chance to contribute and remember their special moments in the area. Uptake for Christmas gifts has been fantastic since we launched last week, we’ve even received sponsorship from people who have emigrated abroad and want to remember this lovely area.

“We’re very grateful to have Dave on-board helping us to protect one of the UK’s most beautiful landscapes.”

Individuals and businesses can pledge £20 to sponsor a 10m x 10m virtual patch, that will help towards the annual maintenance costs.

Each Squarea sponsored will contribute towards the upkeep of The Gardens for the next five years. Sponsors of each Squarea will receive a personal certificate confirming their commitment to the gardens

For more information about the initiative, visit