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Last Updated: Friday, 29 February 2008, 12:27 GMT
Special award for historic park
Birkenhead Park, courtesy of Jan Peddie
Birkenhead Park was the model for Central Park in New York
One of world's oldest public parks has been awarded the green flag - a national standard for excellence.

Birkenhead Park in Wirral has recently undergone an 11m makeover to create a "safer and cleaner and greener" public space.

The park, which dates back to 1847, was the inspiration for Central Park in New York and Victoria Park in London.

Work is being started to officially twin the Grade I-listed 226-acre park with its American counterpart.

A ceremony was held at the park's pavilion on Friday morning, where Birkenhead MP Frank Field unveiled a plaque to commemorate the honour.

Councillor Bob Moon, the council's cabinet member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism, said: "This is a big occasion for the area.

"It is the world's oldest public park and has been at the heart of the Birkenhead community for 160 years - the Green Heritage Site accolade is well-deserved after the multi-million pound renovation which was completed last summer."

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