Hard work by volunteers has paid off after Thoroughsale and Hazel Wood in Corby received a prestigious award.
The woodland areas have been given the national Green Flag award by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.
The award recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country and is a sign to visitors that the areas boast the highest standards, are well-maintained and have excellent facilities.
The woodland is managed on a day-to-day basis by Corby Council and the Friends of Thoroughsale and Hazel Wood Group, which is made up of more than 30 volunteers.
The area has benefitted from many improvements in recent years, including coppicing projects and improvements to pathways and access.
Corby Council is now installing lighting on the woodland walkway from Corby swimming pool to the boating lake.
An educational cabin is also being installed at the lake for use by volunteers and people on training schemes and team-building initiatives.
The council’s lead member for environment, Cllr Paul Beattie, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive a Green Flag award for the second year in a row for Throughsale and Hazel Wood. Corby is very proud of its green spaces and this award recognises and highlights that our residents are benefiting from a green space of the very highest quality.
“The work that has taken place in the woodland has transformed the area into an enjoyable, safe and beautiful place for everyone to use. We couldn’t have got this far without all of the help from groups such as The Friends of Thoroughsale and Hazel Woods and we thank them for all the time and effort they put in to help us keep the woodland in such good shape.”
Chairman of the Friends of Thoroughsale and Hazel Woods, Rick Allanson, said: “I would like to congratulate each and every volunteer for all their hard work within the woodland. Their contributions have helped make the woodland what it is today.”