The park has retained a Green Flag Park Award for six successive years. This national award, administered by Keep Britain Tidy, recognises the best parks and green spaces across the country taking into consideration a range of factors including the facilities available, cleanliness, maintenance, community involvement and conservation.Created during the late 1800’s by local developer John Webb, the park is one of the town’s most popular attractions and offers something for everyone. Originally the area was a marshland prone to flooding but the creation of the lakes helped to drain the land enabling the park to be formed around them. During the excavation of the boating lake the remains of an ancient boat and the fossilised bone of a dinosaur were discovered and visitors to the park’s play-zone will find that the connection with dinosaurs lives on through a beautifully crafted timber sculpture.Up until the mid 20th century, the park was one of the town’s main centres for entertainment, relaxation and recreation with sporting events, theatrical and musical performances being held on a regular basis. Today the park continues to be used for community events and it is anticipated that Rother Voluntary Action will host a free family this August.
Over its history, the park has seen a number of changes including the introduction and loss of features such as the Egerton Park theatre, bandstand and swimming baths. In 2006, the Council was awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to plan a project to regenerate the park, protecting the features valued by local people and improving it to encourage greater use. Consultation and research informed the development of an outline master-plan for the park.Although a subsequent application for Lottery funding to further develop and implement the proposals was unsuccessful, the Council, with the help of the European Union was able to fund various projects over the following years, greatly enhancing the park for residents and visitors. The improvements included a children’s play-zone facilitating a wide range of play experiences, a refreshment kiosk with outdoor seating, attractive railings around the park boundaries and the creation of a sensory garden incorporating planting, willow tunnels and sculptures. Smaller projects continue to be delivered where possible to further enhance the facility. Earlier this year, attractive new ornamental railings were installed along the stream replacing a section of old timber fencing which had been targeted by vandals and had become dilapidated.
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