Top award for Country Park stalwart Tony
Daventry Country Park Ranger Tony Newby has worked tirelessly for almost 30 years to keep the popular attraction looking its best.
And while he has always been number one around these parts, his efforts have now received national recognition after he won Green Flag Award's 'Employee of the Year' award for England in 2020.
The Daventry Norse employee, who received the award from Daventry District Councillor Alan Hills this week, said: “I have worked here a good few years now and have seen a lot of changes in that time, but we’ve always done our best to keep improving the Park for the community to enjoy.
“I’ve been here so long that people I used to see here as children are now bringing their own kids here to enjoy the Park, but that just goes to show how well-loved it is by people, and I’m proud to play a part in that.
“It’s a big surprise to receive this award but it’s a lovely surprise, and I’m very grateful to receive it. I would like to thank everyone who has supported me over the years.”
Tony has played a key role in the upkeep and development of the Park since joining as a Countryside Ranger in 1991
A former carpenter, he used his skills to build a number of structures within the park, including the pier near the Visitor Centre - beloved by children wanting to feed the ducks for the last 20 years.
He has also inspired people of all ages with his talks and activities on the natural environment, as well as his passion and commitment to conservation.
His hard work come rain or shine has also been a significant factor in the Park's successful retention of its Green Flag Award - an accolade which it secured for the 21st time this year.
Councillor Hills, Daventry District Council's Community, Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder, said: "I have been aware of Tony’s contribution since I was first elected in 2002 and the park became part of my portfolio. I would like to congratulate Tony on this fantastic award, which is very well deserved for all the years of service he has given to this wonderful park.
“Generations of Daventry residents have enjoyed spending time here thanks in part to Tony's knowledge and hard work. He has always been very much appreciated locally, and I'm thrilled that this has now also been recognised on a national scale."