Three of South Ribble’s parks have retained their Green Flag status hot on the heels of the announcement of a major new park for the borough.

Worden Park in Leyland Penwortham’s Hurst Grange Park and Longton Brickcroft Nature Reserve have again secured the awards, which means they remain officially among the best open spaces in the country.

It follows the unveiling of plans by the council earlier in the year to create “Central Park” as part of their 40th anniversary celebrations.

Central Park is planned to run through parts of Lostock Hall and Bamber Bridge towards the River Ribble, and the council is aiming for it to be completed within 15 years.

Worden Park is the only green space in the country north of London to have earned a Green Flag for 18 consecutive years since the scheme began.

Each of the Green Flag-winning parks will see footpaths refurbished and drainage issues addressed by the end of the autumn, while visitors to Worden Park will also benefit from a new all-weather overflow car park.

Councillor Margaret Smith, Leader of South Ribble Borough Council, said: “Once again this is fantastic news for our three parks who will continue to fly the Green Flag high.

“While other councils, particularly in the North West, are cutting back on park and leisure provision, we’re driving up standards by investing more than ever before.”