Green Flag Awards for pick of St Albans district parks

Jersey Farm Woodland Park

Jersey Farm Woodland Park - Credit: Archant

PARKS, woodlands and open spaces in the district are among the best in the country – and that’s official.

Verulamium Park in St Albans has won a Green Flag Award for the first time while four other district-council managed green areas have received the annual award.

Hanstead Wood, Bricket Wood’s community woodland which is planted, managed and maintained by volunteers, has also received a Green Flag Award as has Jersey Farm Woodland Park, managed and maintained by Sandridge parish council.

A recordbreaking 1,447 parks and green spaces across the country received Green Flag awards, handed out by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy which recognise and reward the best parks and green spaces across the country.

The award is a sign to visitors that the space boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.

Commenting on the award of a Green Flag to Verulamium Park for the first time, the St Albans council’s portfolio holder for environment, Daniel Chichester-Miles, said: “It joins our other parks and open spaces with a track record in winning Green Flag awards.

“This is the sixth year in a row that Clarence Park, Rothamsted Park and Sopwell Nunnery are winners of a Green Flag award and the third for Bricket Wood.

Most Read

“I am delighted that Verulamium is finally receiving the recognition it deserves after some years of trying. It is a place our whole community can enjoy and be proud of.”

Bricket Wood has done particularly well in the awards – not only did the district council-maintained Bricket Wood Common receive a Green Flag but so did Hanstead Wood, a small community space which only opened in June 2007.

The Friends of Hanstead Wood have created a place of quiet relaxation where wildlife thrives. There are benches for picnics close to the entrance and seats are placed throughout the wood, some in memory of local residents.

A species board has been set up to record the birds, insects, moths, butterflies and small mammals which live there and there is a small wildflower meadow and a hide for bird-watching.

Thanking the volunteer workers for their hours of hard work, Mike Carter, chairman of the Friends of Hanstead Wood, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive a Green Flag Community Award for the fourth year running.”

For Jersey Farm Woodland Park, the Green Flag Award could not have come at a better time. Next year it will be one of the venues for Sandridge 900, a celebration of 900 years of ministry at St Leonard’s church.

The park is well used by residents from Sandridge, Jersey Farm and Marshalswick and offers opportunities for bird watching, walking the dog or just getting away from it all.

As well as guided walks the parish council runs a number of volunteer/taskforce sessions which provide opportunities to learn new skills such as hedge-laying.

Cllr Janet Churchard, chair of the Jersey Farm Woodland Park Joint Management Committee, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive a Green Flag Award for the third consecutive year.

“This Award recognises and highlights that people in Sandridge Parish are benefitting from a green space of the very highest quality.”