AN ACCRINGTON park has been named one of England's top green spaces - but nearby residents say it is a disgrace.
Oak Hill Park joined Mercer Park in Clayton-le-Moors in a record number of parks to win a coveted Green Flag award for being welcoming and safe.
But residents claim Oak Hill is a danger to children.
Tony Hindley, chairman of the Friends of Oak Hill Park, says the park, off Manchester Road, is a disgrace and has been neglected by Hyndburn Council.
He said: "I am absolutely livid about the award. The only reason it got it was because they tarted it up for the inspection day.
"There are hazards all around the park such as barbed wire in the ground.
"The floor of the children's play area is unsafe and it was only last week a parent said she was frightened to let her child play in the park."
He added that the park was infested with Japanese Knotweed, a weed which grows to eight foot tall and can destroy buildings by plunging deep into concrete foundations.
Mr Hindley added: "The council hasn't listened to our complaints and council workers are helping spread the weed across the park.
"We have been ignored about blocked drains, overgrown paths and the potting shed which has been without a roof for over two years. This award isn't worth anything."
The park has won the Government honour for the second year running despite being plagued by vandalism, graffitti and arson when the bandstand was targetted and destroyed.
Councillor Brian Roberts, deputy leader of Hyndburn Council with responsibility for community services, said: "I'm sorry that Mr Hindley feels this way.
"A representative of his group was invited to meet the judges and this would have been the ideal time to raise any concerns.
"We have worked hard to keep the Green Flag status and we are really proud that the Green Flag will be flying again in Oak Hill as it's a magnificent park with many visitors.
"Japanese knotweed is a problem in the park, as it is in most parks right across the country, and we've set aside a budget to deal with it.
"The play area is an excellent and inclusive play facility for children and a big improvement on the old derelict buildings which were in its place before."
He added: "The Green Flag award helps when bidding for funds and we are keen to work with Friends' groups to get funding to improve our parks for everyone in the community in the future."