Town ‘jewel’ handed quality day out prize

Flowers in full bloom in Morpeth's award-winning Carlisle Park.

Flowers in full bloom in Morpeth's award-winning Carlisle Park.

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A MORPETH park has been recognised as a quality day out for visitors of all ages.

Carlisle Park has won accreditation from the Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance scheme for the tenth year.

An independent assessor checked the park, including the castle, Ha’ Hill, entrances and facilities.

She even called the toilets ‘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.

A detailed report with key observations and recommendations, highlighting positives as well as any negatives, will be submitted to Northumberland County Council.

Coun Alan Thompson, executive member for neighbourhood services and highways said: “The assessors have recognised the commitment of our staff to Carlisle Park.

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

Carlisle Park’s attractions include the colourful Formal Gardens, with a mix of lawns, bedding and herbaceous borders, and the William Turner Garden, a herb garden celebrating the achievements of the Father of English botany, who was born in Morpeth.

The county council received regular positive comments about the park, including one Morpeth resident who recently praised the floral displays as ‘the jewel in Morpeth’s crown’.

The award is the latest accolade for the park, following the Green Flag award and gold medals in Northumbria in Bloom.

It received £2.1m from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 1999, which enabled work to begin on improving paths, woodlands and play areas.

The bandstand was also built and the William Turner Garden was created.

Carlisle Park is owned by Northumberland County Council and managed by them in partnership with Morpeth Town Council and Leisure Connections.