With parks and green spaces providing the perfect location for families to enjoy free time during the school holidays, Higginson Park in Marlow and The Rye in High Wycombe have been recognised as two of the country’s best green spaces. Both parks have been chosen to receive a prestigious Green Flag Award today (Wednesday July 28, 2010).
Green Flag Awards recognise and reward the best parks in the country. Higginson Park in Marlow and The Rye in High Wycombe stood out after impressing the national judges with their excellent use of green space, well-maintained facilities and high standard of safety and security.
Both parks are managed by Wycombe District Council, which contracts out the grounds maintenance to John O’Conner Ltd (Higginson Park) and to Sodexo (The Rye). The Rye has been given a Green Flag award for the second year in a row. The Green Flag has become a familiar sight at Higginson Park – this is the seventh consecutive year it has held the award
Cabinet Member for Younger and Older People, Councillor Richard Scott commented: “These awards reflect the high standards we have for the parks and green spaces across our district. To be given these national awards again reflects the continued hard work put in by the council, contractors and the local community to maintain this high standard. All our parks and green spaces are enjoyed by thousands of residents and visitors each year. They enhance the appearance of the district and bring pleasure and rec to the people who use them.”
This year has seen the highest number of awards handed out, a record 1200 Green Flags and Green Pennants across the UK compared to 1,013 in 2009. Green Pennants are awarded to parks or green spaces managed by a community or voluntary group.
Only green spaces that are free to enter and open to the public are eligible to win an award through the scheme, which is run by environmental charities Keep Britain Tidy, BTCV and GreenSpace.
Paul Todd, Manager, Green Flag Award Scheme, said: “It’s a remarkable achievement that so many parks have successfully reached Green Flag Award status this year. The staff running the parks work very hard throughout the year to ensure their facilities are maintained to a high standard and enjoyed by the entire community. As the recession bites and people look closer to home to enjoy the outdoors, the provision of high-quality, free open spaces is of particular importance.”
The awards could not come at a better time as GreenSpace’s ‘Love Parks’ week takes place between 24 July and 1 August, during which people will be encouraged to enjoy the nation’s parks and green spaces.