28 July 2010

All of Northamptonshire County Council’s five country parks have been recognised with a prestigious Green Flag award today (Wednesday 28th July).

This means that Barnwell, Fermyn Woods, Irchester, Sywell and Brixworth country parks in Northamptonshire have each been recognised as being some of the country’s best green spaces.

Green Flag Awards recognise and reward the best parks in the country and all five of the county council’s country parks stood out after impressing the judges with their excellent use of green space, well-maintained facilities and high standard of safety and security.

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.

County council cabinet member for customers and communities, Councillor Andre Gonzalez De Savage said: “We are hugely proud of our wonderful country parks and very pleased that they have again been recognized by the Green Flag Scheme.

“A number of improvements have been seen at the country parks over the past year or so including the new Filter Bed children’s play area at Sywell Country Park and the Jungle Parc high ropes adventure trail and new Quarryman’s Rest Café at Irchester Country Park.

“Receiving these green flags is a real tribute to everyone involved with the parks, both staff and the many volunteers who work hard to look after these important green spaces.”

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.”

Additional information:

  • The Green Flag Award Scheme is managed by a consortium, comprising Keep Britain Tidy, BTCV and GreenSpace. Known collectively as the Green Flag Plus Partnership, the consortium manages the scheme in England on behalf of Communities and Local Government (CLG) and in Wales for the Welsh Steering Group.
  • Green Flag Award recognises well-managed, high-quality green spaces. Any green space is eligible to win this award providing visitors can enter free of charge. Previous winners include parks managed by local authorities as well as those run by community groups and trusts.
  • The applications for the Green Flag Awards are judged against eight criteria: a welcoming place; healthy safe and secure; clean and well maintained; sustainability; conservation and heritage; community involvement; marketing; and management.
  • The Green Flag Award vision is that by 2020, 50 per cent of green spaces in England and Wales will be of Green Flag standard – a staggering 15,000 sites.
  • For more information visit: www.greenflagaward.org.uk