WORK being carried out at a park and war memorial will put an end to downpours turning the site into an inaccessible mudbath.

The £100,000 scheme was implemented as rainfall was turning Memorial Park in Great Harwood into a sea of mud for much of the year. The effect of weathering on paths also meant the park was inaccessible to wheelchair users.

A new drainage system has now diverted a nearby woodland stream from flooding the park, and some brand new paths make it possible for wheelchairs to approach the town’s cenotaph.

Friends of Memorial Park Chairman, Ian Wilkinson, said on past Remembrance Day events, veterans in wheelchairs had faced the choice of either wheeling through mud, or tackling paths choked with tree roots.

He said: “Some of the paths were completely impassable because the roots were so overgrown.

“The old drainage system was also totally defunct and this made the park totally unusable after heavy rain. If it is icy as well the flooded paths would become very dangerous and slippy.”

Flooding to the park has also proved highly problematic to the volunteers who make improvements to the park. Hundreds of pounds worth bulbs and hours of voluntary bulb planting went to waste when bulbs rotted in the saturated ground.

The plans to rejuvenate the park were initially part of a £750,000 lottery bid masterplan for Memorial Park in 2009.

However when plans to apply for lottery funding fell though, a £100,000 fund towards the park plans remained available from Hyndburn Council.

The Friends of Mercer Park say they decided access and flooding was the priority work needed and proceeded to put the plans in motion.

Further renovations to Memorial Park are expected to be completed in the future as the group apply for funding in stages.