Brierley Forest Park in Sutton in Ashfield has been accredited by Natural England with country park status.
Country parks are areas for people to visit and enjoy recreation in a countryside environment. After meeting all the criteria required, Brierley Forest Park is now a member of an elite group of outdoor spaces in the UK.
The former colliery site has been transformed into a wildlife haven with walks covering two miles. It provides recreation facilities including a football pitch, children’s play area and play trail, fishing and a visitor centre with a café.
Brierley is also one of six Ashfield District Council parks and green spaces to hold a prestigious Green Flag Award - a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities. These are Kingsway Park, Portland Park, Selston Golf Course, Sutton Lawn, Titchfield Park, Hucknall and of course Brierley Forest Park.
The Council works closely with Natural England on the management of Brierley Forest Park and has a 10-year funding agreement with Natural England for the management of the meadows, wetlands, grasslands and woodlands on the park.
Natural England’s local adviser said: "We are delighted that Ashfield District Council has achieved country park status for Brierley Forest, and we are glad to be supporting them in ensuring the long term protection of such an important local area".
The Council is also ably supported in maintaining the high standards of the park by the Brierley Forest Park Trust, Cafe Volunteers, the Brierley Pond Fishing Club and various community groups.
Edd de Coverly, Ashfield District Council’s Service Director for Place and Communities, said: “This is an outstanding achievement for everyone involved in the upkeep of the fantastic facility that is Brierley Forest Park.
“This accreditation is testament to the exceptional team effort that goes into not only maintaining the park but also continuously improving its standards and I hope residents will take full advantage of the activities and events Brierley has to offer”.