Five parks in Rugby are among the best in the world after being awarded a prestigious Green Flag Award, it was announced today (Tuesday, July 18).
Caldecott Park, Centenary Park, Millenium Green and Rainsbrook Crematorium in Hillmorton have been given the international quality mark for parks and green spaces.
It is the tenth consecutive honour for Caldecott Park and the second in a row for Newbold’s Centenary Park, which opened last April.
Gladstone Geen received a special community award, reflecting the smaller nature of the park and the involvement of the community in running the park and keeping it maintained.
Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for environment and public realm Cllr Lisa Parker said: “I am thrilled that our commitment to provide quality open spaces that our communities use and enjoy has been recognised with these five green flags.
“The Green Flag awards are a great tribute to the hard work of our parks and cleansing teams, but particularly to the volunteers and residents who contribute so much to making them places we can be proud of.
“Groups such as Benn’s Friends, at Millennium Green, and the Newbold On Avon Community Partnership, at Centenary Park, help us create spaces that their communities value, and also help to bring in external funding.”
Speaking about the Green Flag for the newly built crematorium, Cllr Parker added: “Right from the design stage we have worked with our colleagues at Daventry District Council to make sure that the crematorium had a peaceful setting over-looking the Rainsbrook valley.
“The landscaping and the Diamond Wood below the site have really developed over the last few years, and the Green Flag award is richly deserved.”
Millennium Green includes children’s play areas, raised herb and vegetable beds, a multi use games area and an open area for informal use.
Judges described the park as one of the nicest they had seen, and were impressed by the passion shown by the volunteers that they met.
Gladstone Green, in New Bilton, is host to community growing raised beds and holds regular community events such as the ‘Dad digs’ days. #
The judges were particularly impressed with the edible hedge and the involvement of partners.
Centenary Park was designed, created and renamed last year, and is located on part of the old Parkfield Road allotment site.
Caldecott Park, in Rugby town centre, is visited more than half a million times each year and hosts events such as open air theatre and live bands.
Research shows people will only visit a park if they perceive it to be clean and safe and the award from Keep Britain Tidy is an easy way for the public to see at a glance their park meets the highest standards.
In total this year, 1,797 parks, cemeteries, universities, museums, hospitals and shopping centres have met the tough criteria demanded by the award, including 163 in the East of England.
Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “Research shows that parks are a vital and valued resource in communities across the UK and we are delighted that so many of them are meeting the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.
“But we cannot be complacent. We know that budgets are being squeezed in local authorities across the country and we must be vigilant to ensure that everyone, where ever they live, has access to the very best parks and green spaces.”
This week is also Love Parks Week, when millions of people will be out enjoying activities from pond-dipping to zumba in parks of all sizes across the country.
Run by Keep Britain Tidy, the campaign encourages people think about their park, share why they love it and celebrate the diversity of activities that happen every day of the year in parks.
Warwickshire County Council portfolio holder for country parks Cllr Jeff Clarke said: “We are delighted to be taking part in this year’s Love Parks Week celebrations run by Keep Britain Tidy.
“Our parks offer a great day out, especially during the school holidays with plenty to occupy everyone, even if you just fancy a stroll to feed the ducks or a traffic free cycle ride.”
Ryton Pools Country Park is holding a number of events to celebrate Love Parks Week, including a birds of prey demonstration and toddler walk tomorrow (Wednesday, July 19), and secret garden trail from Saturday (July 22) to August 24.