A POPULAR park has scooped a hat trick of awards.
Elba Park has been named best community space by the Land Trust.
Park ranger Andrea Baxter also picked up a gong after being named ranger of the year, for her tireless work in the community.
The awards follow last week’s announcement that the park, which lies between Shiney Row, Burnmoor and Fence Houses, has been awarded green flag status as one of the best in the country.
Elba Park, built on the site of former Lambton Cokeworks, is owned by The Land Trust and managed by charity Groundwork North East.
Euan Hall, chief executive of the Land Trust, said: “These awards recognise the outstanding work that Groundwork and in particular Andrea has done on the park working with the local community.
“We set all our site managers a goal of ensuring they deliver benefits to local people and Elba Park provides a fantastic example of what can be done.
“Andrea has worked with local schools to provide a range of educational activities.
“She runs a regular walking programme that improves people’s health and has provided opportunities for an enthusiastic team of volunteers to get involved in the park and she has also as organised a fantastic range of community events, such as the annual gala which takes place on August 24.”
The Land Trust has a portfolio of 50 parks and open spaces across the country, which are managed to encourage community activity and biodiversity.
Since it opened three years ago, Elba Park has hosted over 30 free community events to more than 5,000 people from the community and is home to a diverse variety of wildlife.
Andrea said: “We are delighted to receive these awards.
“We have worked extremely hard over the past three years to make Elba Park a success and a valuable space for the local community.
“Groundwork runs lots of different activities and programmes at Elba and is looking forward to another exciting year.”
A free summer fun day takes place at the park on August 24, from 11am until 3pm.
Activities include bouncy castles, birds of prey, heritage displays, pond dipping, bug hunts, face painting, crafts and games and more.
For more information call Andrea on 07587 778 452, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.