Lancashire

Blackburn's Witton Park cleaned up ahead of royal visit

Witton Country Park
Image caption Prince William will put his name to a scheme which will protect the park

A clean-up operation is being carried out in a Lancashire country park ahead of a visit on Monday by Prince William and wife-to-be Kate Middleton.

The visit to Blackburn's Witton Country Park will be one of the couple's last official engagements before they wed on 29 April.

Offenders on community payback orders are among those drafted in to tidy the park up.

Prince William will be putting his name to a plan to protect its future.

He will sign a Deed of Dedication to protect the park as part of the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge - an initiative designed to permanently protect 2,012 outdoor recreational spaces around the UK in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, next year.

Previously, he visited Blackburn in 2008, going to a school and taking part in a kick about as part of his role as president of the Football Association.

On Monday, thousands of people are expected to come to the park and the council has advised there will be restricted parking.

Anthony Entwistle, Parks Development Officer, said: "It is great that everyone is chipping in to help make sure that Witton Park is looking fantastic on the day.

"The park is a huge visitor attraction and already gets thousands of people coming along every month. After the visit, even more people will know about the fantastic facility and what it has to offer."

The park was bought by the council in 1946, for £64,000, from the Fielden family, with the provision that no property development could take place in the future.

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