One of Liverpool's most historic parks has been regraded to give it the highest possible heritage ranking.
Sefton Park has been reclassified from grade 2-listed to grade 1-listed by English Heritage as part of a national review of registered municipal parks.
The 235-acre park was built on land purchased by Liverpool City Council from the Earl of Sefton and was opened by Prince Arthur in 1872.
The change is in recognition of the fact that it is an early example of a municipal park, that its design is largely unchanged and that it is "an important element of one of England's great industrial cities".
Heritage chiefs also cite it as being the first to introduce French park design to England. Landscape architect Édouard André – who had worked on parks in Paris – won the competition to design the site, alongside Liverpool man Lewis Hornblower.
Liverpool mayor Cllr Anderson said: "Sefton Park has and always will have a special place in my heart as I used to spend long summer days there when I was a lad, and subsequently many hours there with my own children.
"We are absolutely committed to attracting more people into our parks, which is why we have introduced pedalos back on to the lake, borrowed money to upgrade the roads and made it one of the focal points for the hugely successful Liverpool International Music Festival.
"This regrading by English Heritage shows their confidence in our work to maintain its historic features and make sure we attract as many people as possible into it."
A £7m restoration project was carried out in 2005, including refurbishment of the watercourses, renovation of rockeries, a new play area, extensive planting, improvements to paths and bridges and restoration of monuments.
Work was also recently completed on a £6m programme to resurface the roads around the park, with the council borrowing the money to fund the scheme.