Manchester's Heaton Park has been awarded official country park status.
Heaton park is the first Manchester park to be accredited with country park status and is one of only nine sites recognised by Natural England's accreditation scheme in North West England.
To be eligible for country park status parks must meet a series of criteria set out by Natural England including the promotion of biodiversity, have easily to follow footpaths, cycle paths and bridleways, provide opportunities for the local community to be involved in the management and development of the park, and be at least 10 hectares in size.
Councillor Rosa Battle, executive member for culture and leisure said: "Achieving country park status is a real accolade for Heaton Park. We are committed to providing the highest quality facilities and services in the park so to receive this national recognition is a real coup. Our staff work tirelessly to make this green space suitable for the community, families, one off visitors and everyone that comes into the park. I would hope that our new found status may also lead to more people visiting the park and continuing to visit as they can be confident of the facilities they can expect to find."
Heaton Park can now display their country park accreditation and the park will appear on Natural England's website list of accredited country parks.
Country Parks were established as a result of the 1968 Countryside Act and there are currently more than 400 sites that call themselves country parks in England.
The application to Natural England was made by the Heaton Park team and Manchester City Council's Environmental Strategy team. They will be working with Regeneration teams across the city to identify other potential Country Parks in Manchester.