Last Updated: 22 Oct 2019 11:54am
Haysden Country Park has been awarded a Country Park Accredited Status (CPAS) following an assessment by Natural England, a status which will remain valid for the next three years. The Accreditation certificate will be proudly displayed on the noticeboard in the main car park near the flagpole at the park and will join a host of other accolades that the park has been awarded, including designation as a Local Nature Reserve, in part a Site of Nature Conservation Interest, and a Green Flag Award since 2006.
This Accreditation shows potential visitors that the country park has essential facilities and services that they would expect to see in a country park, which include waymarked trails, picnic areas and a well-managed range of habitats such as river, grassland, freshwater lakes, marshland and woodland. The accreditation criteria show designers and planners what a good country park should offer.
Set in a beautiful area of countryside covering about 165 acres in the Medway Valley to the west of Tonbridge, Haysden Country Park includes a new children’s play area, a new jetty at Barden Lake, picnic tables overlooking the lake, and a range of habitats such as grassland, freshwater lakes, marshland and woodland, which are home to a wealth of insects, birds and animals. Visitors can explore the nature trails that wind through the park and can also enjoy the park’s play sculptures and an oak sculpture in the Friendship Wood, which commemorates the 25th Anniversary of twinning between Tonbridge and Malling and Heusenstamm.
The park is managed and maintained by Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council with the help of local volunteers who meet regularly to carry out organised tasks like litter picking, coppicing and tree planting.
There have been further developments within the park in recent years which include resurfaced paths around the lake, a new path in the play area, a new path to the dipping platform, new surfacing around the café and an extension to the car park, all of which will add to the visitors’ enjoyment.
Cllr Mark Rhodes, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, says: “It is a credit to the team of officers, rangers and volunteers who manage the park so well that Haysden Country Park has achieved the Country Park Accredited Status. The Park continues to provide a beautiful and interesting space close to the town for local visitors and those from further afield to enjoy throughout the year and I offer my sincere thanks to all those involved in obtaining the accreditation status.”