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Monday, August 2, 2010

Greenwich on the Other Side of the Pond: Green Flag Award announcement: the borough’s parks officially some of the best in the country

From Peachy in the UK: Parks provide the perfect location for families during the school holidays and six in Greenwich have been recognised as some of the country’s best green spaces with a prestigious Green Flag Award this week.  (We are not talking about Greenwich, Connecticut)

Awarded Green Flag status for the first time were Horn Park and Eltham Parks North & South. Four other parks had their Green Flag status renewed; they were the historic Well Hall Pleasaunce in Eltham, Sutcliffe Park, an important local wetlands reserve in Kidbrooke, the quiet haven of East Greenwich Pleasaunce, and the iconic Blackheath, awarded jointly with Lewisham Council.

The achievement ensures that Greenwich is now half-way towards its target of securing the Green Flag award for 12 of its parks by 2012.

The borough also won two Green Pennants - for Slade Ponds at Plumstead Common and Twinkle Park in Deptford.

Cllr John Fahy, Cabinet Member for Culture and the Olympics was pleased that Greenwich’s parks had been given the credit they deserve. “I’m really pleased that six of our parks have been rewarded with a Green Flag Award.”

“There’s such an array of beautiful and spacious parks in the borough and I’d encourage everyone in Greenwich to get out and explore them. Improvements we have made across the borough are linked to our commitment to gain a lasting legacy from 2012.” he continued.

Green Flag Awards recognise and reward the top parks in the country and the six parks stood out, impressing the judges withtheir excellent use of green space, well-maintained facilities and high standard of safety and security.

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.
The award-winning sites

·        Blackheath: The Green Flag Award was secured jointly with Lewisham Council. This demonstrates cross-boundary partnership working. Blackheath is an iconic place, with a rich history.

·        East Greenwich Pleasaunce: A quiet haven of a park with more history than people might think. It is partly a naval cemetery with associations with the Battle of Trafalgar. Visitors can enjoy great tree-life. And the hospitality of the newly-opened café.

·        Eltham Parks North & South: are linked by a pedestrian bridge and offer large areas of grassland, superb tennis courts, a children's play area, and a newly-opened café. There’s mixed woodland, a pond with interesting wildfowl, and splendid views across to the City.

·        Horn Park: Affords the visitor fantastic views of Eltham Church and south towards Grove Park. The Borough's first Skate park was installed here and the park offers a variety of trees, quiet routes in which to stroll on undulating terrain, a recently-installed children's playground and an excellent outdoor gymnasium.

·        Sutcliffe Park: Re-opening in 2004, and featuring an important flood alleviation scheme, the park is now a splendid wetland habitat, with the river Quaggy wending its way through. The visitor may enjoy a variety of flora and fauna. leading to it being declared a local nature reserve in 2006 Other features include a newly-installed children's playground and a superb athletics track and clubroom, which is home to the Cambridge Harriers athletics club.

·        Well Hall Pleasaunce: Restored in 2002, it is a historic site, with original Tudor bridge, moat, walled gardens and the Tudor Barn surviving. It offers the visitor excellent food and drink, and a variety of musical entertainment. A children's play area, made of natural materials, was recently installed and there are splendid flower gardens on show.

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.

For more about parks in the borough visit

For more about the Green Flag and Green Pennant scheme visit:

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