The Duchess of Northumberland has officially launched almost £1 million worth of lottery funded improvements in Berwick.
Her Grace cut ribbons in both Castle Vale and Coronation Park and was given a tour of the area by Berwick Parks Project manager Kate Morison.
They were accompanied by Councillor Kathy Graham, civic head of Northumberland County Council, Mayor of Berwick Isabel Hunter and local parks volunteer Jennifer Mosley.
The project was set up to revitalise the two parks which sit on either side of Berwick’s train station.
They contain a wealth of heritage and natural history but had become something of a forgotten part of the town since their heyday of the 1930s.
Work started with the removal of some dangerous trees last March but the main project started in September with planting taking place over the spring and early summer.
Restoration works have upgraded facilities such as footpaths, entrances, garden spaces and provided a welcome return of water lilies to the lily pond in Castle Vale Park.
Northumberland County Council owns the parks and has worked in close partnership with Berwick Town Council and Castlegate Residents Association, ensuring a focused project that meets the needs of the residents and visitors to the town.
As part of the scheme, students from Berwick Academy have designed a community sensory garden behind Meg’s Mount, while Berwick Youth Project has made a film about the restoration.
The Duchess met members of the project steering group; representatives of the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery; volunteers from Berwick Academy; and members of the Berwick Youth Project.
A grant of £890,700 was awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund. Funding from Northumberland County Council, Berwick Town Council and Castlegate Residents Association has taken the total project value to £999,051.
Both parks offer stunning views towards the River Tweed and the Royal Border Bridge.
Great efforts are being made to ensure the park will attract a lot more visitors. There will be various events staged in the park, from music to school group visits, from bird watching to bat nights and tai chi.
Dozens of people have already been involved in the project so far – through volunteering, events and other activities.
If you would like to get involved contact Kate Morison on 07876398026 or Kate.Morison@northumberland.gov.uk.