There was double cause for celebration at Daventry Country Park on Friday as it retained its Green Flag status as well as opening its revitalised Community Sensory Garden.
The sensory garden was officially opened by Daventry Mayor Wendy Randall.
The garden is located between the car park and visitor centre, and the project was made possible by a £2,785 Big Lottery Awards for All grant to the Daventry and District Disability Access Forum.
It has seen the garden given gravel pathways, fencing, raised beds, a new bridge, totem poles, a wooden butterfly sculpture and new seating.
Old tree stumps and debris have been removed and a variety of flowers, shrubs and grasses have been planted to stimulate the senses. Phase two of the project will see further planting and the installation of more new benches.
It is the 15th time in 16 years the park has received the prestigious Green Flag Award, a scheme run to recognise the country’s best open spaces.
Councillor Alan Hills, DDC community, culture and leisure portfolio holder said: “The revitalised Community Sensory Garden looks fantastic and really is a credit to the dedication of the Disability Access Forum and the other volunteers who have worked on the project.
“It’s a fantastic new edition to the park which I’m sure the community will get a lot of enjoyment from. It’s also an example of the kind of improvements that are constantly being made to enhance the park and its facilities – work that is reflected in the awarding of the Green Flag status.
“In the last year we have installed new play equipment for younger children and it promises to be another great summer at the park, with a range of activities organised for families to enjoy.
“To receive this international benchmark of excellence for the 15th time is an exceptional achievement of which we’re extremely proud and delighted.”
The Green Flag Award is judged on a range of criteria including first impressions when entering a park, how clean, well-maintained, healthy, safe and secure it is for visitors, how well the site is managed and promoted, as well as work towards encouraging community involvement, sustainability, conservation and heritage.
International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme.
“All the flags flying this year are a testament to the efforts of the thousands of men and women, both staff and volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”
The announcement of this year’s award winners coincides with the launch of Love Parks Week, a national initiative aimed at celebrating local open spaces.