West End’s Itchen Valley Country Park has been voted one of the best open spaces in the country in a national awards scheme. And a programme of improvements is underway.

The Eastleigh Borough Council-operated Park is well into its second decade of success in the Keep Britain Tidy Charity’s Green Flag Award scheme, which is a nationally recognised mark of quality, confirming that it is well maintained, has excellent facilities and is professionally managed.

Itchen Valley Country Park’s 440-acres offer walking trails, water meadows, woodland and meadows, with a range of attractions, including a café, an indoor play area and outdoor play trail, picnic and barbecue facilities. The Go Ape treetops adventure is also based there.

Planned improvements include a new community building and remodelling of the existing Highwood Barn and Kingfisher Barn, better barbecue and picnic areas, upgraded play equipment, a Changing Places room for disabled users, new central events and welcoming space, and covered outdoor seating area for customers to the popular Woodland Café.