THE first park warden scheme in Kirklees has been hailed an un-qualified success after its first 12 months.
Wardens John Patton and Mohammad Farooq took up their posts at Greenhead Park, Huddersfield, and Crow Nest Park, Dewsbury, last summer.
Their aim was to provide a reassuring presence and stamp out any problems in the parks.
A year on and one of Kirklees Council's assistant heads of leisure and recreation, Mr John Fletcher, said their impact had been enormous.
He said: "The two wardens have made a huge difference in the parks.
"They are responsible for the dramatic decline in substance abuse and drug-related problems in these parks. And because of this the general ambience and atmosphere of the areas has vastly improved."
The scheme cost about £40,000 and the wardens work variable hours throughout the week, including night shifts.
Cash to launch the scheme came from the Kirklees Community Safety Partnership, which includes Kirklees Council, West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Probation Service, the National Health Service and the private and voluntary sectors.
Kirklees Community Safety Officer Maroof Shah said she was delighted the wardens had been a success.
She also confirmed that funding for the scheme would continue into next year.
She added: "The partnership aims to reduce crime and the fear of crime through schemes outlined in our three year strategy.
"We're delighted this particular scheme has had such a positive impact on the community, with more and more people enjoying these areas."