Green Flag awards recognise district's phenomenal parks

Verulamium Park has won a Green Flag for the ninth successive year.

Verulamium Park has won a Green Flag for the ninth successive year. - Credit: SADC

Green Flags are being proudly raised over many of the district's parks in recognition of their high standards.

More than 50 of the prestigious accolades were presented to parks and opens spaces across the county at a special ceremony in St Albans.

Representatives from local authorities, community groups, businesses and ParksHerts - an organisation set up to promote the county’s green spaces - attended the gathering at St Albans Museum + Gallery.

The Green Flag, an international quality mark, was given to Verulamium Park, Clarence Park, Sopwell Nunnery Green Space and Hatfield Road Cemetery.

In addition, Verulamium Park was awarded Green Heritage Site Accreditation for the management of its historic Roman features.

Meanwhile, Sandridge Parish Council celebrated receiving a Green Flag Community Award for Jersey Farm Woodland Park. Officers and councillors of Sandridge Parish are supported by public members on the management committee and a volunteer group who carry out a number of practical tasks which include hedge laying and wildflower planting.

The Green Flag Award scheme is run by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

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It recognises well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark for green spaces across the United Kingdom and the world.

Jersey Farm Woodland Park in Sandridge.

Jersey Farm Woodland Park in Sandridge. - Credit: Google

St Albans Mayor, Cllr Geoff Harrison, welcomed delegates to the event at the Museum + Gallery’s Assembly Room.

Among the speakers were Paul Todd, Keep Britain Tidy’s accreditation manager, Heidi Carruthers, of the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, and Cllr Anthony Rowlands who was representing Cllr Helen Campbell, chair of SADC’s public realm committee.

Delegates were later taken on a guided tour of Verulamium Park which has retained its Green Flag and Heritage site awards for the past nine years.

Mayor Harrison said: “During two years of COVID lockdowns, we saw what a vital role our parks and green spaces play in people’s lives.

“They provide places to relax, exercise and meet friends and family safely. As a council, we are delighted to have received five Green Flag awards for our parks and open spaces.

“Our priority is to tackle the climate emergency and improve the local environment for our residents. The Green Flags are a demonstration of our commitment to these goals.”

Keep Britain Tidy’s Paul Todd said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making Hertfordshire worthy of so many Green Flag Awards.

“These are vital green space for the community and the awards are testament to all the hard work of staff and volunteers who do so much to ensure that the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award are maintained.”

Dave Renouf, chair of ParksHerts, said: “Winning more than 50 Green Flags is a wonderful achievement by local authorities and community groups across Hertfordshire.

“ParksHerts promotes more than 100 flagship parks and open spaces in the county and I urge people to go and explore what we have on offer. There is so much to see and experience.”