This is in a record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award, as the scheme marks its Silver Jubilee, and West Suffolk’s parks are six of 2,127 celebrating success today nationwide.
The award is the international quality mark for parks and green spaces.
This is the third year that West Suffolk Council has celebrated all six of these parks and open spaces winning the award and the council has had at least one Green Flag every year for the last 13 years.
The six West Suffolk parks that have been awarded a Green Flag this year are:
- Abbey Gardens
- Nowton Park
- Brandon Country Park
- East Town Park
- West Stow Country Park
- Aspal Close
This follows the Abbey Gardens, in Bury St Edmunds, being rated the fifth top free attraction visited in the country.
Parks and open spaces play a vital role in supporting the health and wellbeing of residents and visitors as well as protecting the local heritage and environment.
West Suffolk Council’s parks and open spaces join green spaces as diverse as the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, Woodhouse Park in Peterlee and Chiswick Old Cemetery in London.
Jo Rayner, deputy leader of West Suffolk Council and Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Heritage and Community Hubs, said: “The thing that brings our parks and open spaces to life is the enjoyment people get from using them. Our communities value them as places to be outside, benefit from green exercise and enjoy spending time together. All powerful antidotes to the stress of the past couple of years. And we continue to invest in the way we manage the spaces.
“For example we have installed a heat pump and solar panels at Nowton Park visitor centre, adapted mowing practices to encourage pollinators and have begun replacing end of life petrol fuelled kit with electric equipment. We would like to thank everyone who helps supports our parks, including our visitors, volunteers and partners and make sure they stay open for everyone to enjoy.”
The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of green spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.
A full list of Green Flag Award-winning parks and green spaces is available here