Jewel in the crown keeps on sparkling

Carlisle Park has won accreditation from the Visitor Attractions Quality Assurance scheme for the tenth year.' 'John Richardson, of Highways and Neighbourhood Services, tends the flower displays in Carlisle Park.
Carlisle Park has won accreditation from the Visitor Attractions Quality Assurance scheme for the tenth year.' 'John Richardson, of Highways and Neighbourhood Services, tends the flower displays in Carlisle Park.
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MORPETH’S ‘jewel in the crown’ continues to sparkle as it receives yet another national accolade.

Carlisle Park has won accreditation from the Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance scheme, managed by Visit England, for a remarkable tenth year.

An independent assessor toured the entire park, including the castle, Ha’ Hill and all of the entrances — and she said the toilets were “the most characterful” she had seen.

In the initial feedback, the assessor reported she had liked the interpretation and signage for visitors, the William Turner Garden and Formal Gardens and noticed how children and adults were enjoying themselves around the paddling pool, sand pit and play areas.

However, a detailed report with key observations and recommendations, highlighting any negatives as well as positives, will soon be sent to park owners Northumberland County Council.

The authority’s Executive Member for Neighbourhood Services and Highways Alan Thompson said: “The assessors have recognised the commitment of our staff to Carlisle Park.

“Their recommendations will help us to look at the park from a visitor’s point of view and keep making improvements to enable everyone to enjoy themselves while they are here.”

Carlisle Park has been a much-loved visitor attraction by families for generations.

It received £2.1million from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 1999, which enabled work to begin on creating the William Turner Garden, building the bandstand and improving paths, woodlands and play areas.

The facility is managed by the county council in partnership with Morpeth Town Council and Leisure Connection. The Friends of Carlisle Park also contributes to its maintenance and improvement.

The park has received both the Green Flag award and gold medals in the Northumbria in Bloom competition on numerous occasions.

And it could be in line for another gong as park users are invited to vote for it to win the People’s Choice Award from Keep Britain Tidy, which is open to all parks and green spaces with Green Flag status.

Votes can also be registered for the Old Bakehouse Millennium Green, off Newgate Street.

Simply visit www.greenflagaward.org.uk and select the North East region on the interactive map. Voters can find the park and green space by typing Morpeth into the ‘Enter Place or Postcode’ box and once selected, click the ‘vote for this site’ button.

Voting closes at noon on Monday, September 12, and the winner will be announced on Wednesday, September 21.