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More than 40 Black Country sites get prestigious Green Flag Award

By Doug Wootton | News | Published:

Green spaces across the Black Country and Staffordshire have been recognised with the prestigious annual green flag award.

Ken Smith and Councillor Richard Marshall with one of Sandwell's 11 green flags

The scheme, which highlights the best green spaces in the world, has handed out more than 40 awards across the Black Country and Mid Staffordshire this year – the only local council not to receive an award is the City of Wolverhampton Council.

The green flag will be flying at multiple sites across the Black Country however after judges were impressed with what they saw.

The flags are awarded to the best open spaces in the country and have to meet top standards for appearance and upkeep in order to receive the title.

These green spaces are among a record-breaking 1,797 UK parks and green spaces which received the prestigious Green Flag Award or Green Flag Community Award this week.

Sandwell received 10 awards in total with Barnford Park in Oldbury, Brunswick Park in Wednesbury, Dartmouth Park, Haden Hill Park, Sandwell Valley Country Park, Sandwell Valley Crematorium, Tipton Cemetery, Victoria Park in Smethwick and Victoria Park in Tipton all picking up the Green Flag Award.

Willenhall Memorial Park, which has been awarded a green flag

Additionally Haden Hill Park, which is run by Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, was a Green Heritage Site Winner.

Sandwell Council leader Steve Eling said: “This is fantastic news – a big well done to all the staff, volunteers, friends’ groups, community organisations and allotment committees.

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"They have all helped Sandwell win these prestigious awards. We also thank everyone who uses our parks and green spaces.

“Despite the pressures on council budgets, we’re committed to investing in our parks, cemeteries and crematoriums and improving them for everyone.”

In Dudley, Buffery Park, Mary Stevens Park, Priory Park, Silver Jubillee Park, The Leasowes and Wrens Nest National Nature Reserve were all Green Flag Award Winners 2017.

Additionally Mary Stevens Park and Priory Park were also Green Heritage Site Winners 2017.

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The Abbey Road Allotments, run by Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, received the Green Flag Community Award Winners 2017.

In Wyre Forest, Brinton Park and Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Gardens were both Green Flag Award Winners.

In Walsall Blackwood Park, Palfrey Park, Rough Wood and Bentley Haye and Willenhall Memorial Park all received the Green Flag Award.

Darren Gilbert, Alison Bate and Judy Worton in the edible garden

Chuckery Pocket Park, run by Walsall Council, received the Green Flag Community Award 2017 alongside the Edible Gardens at Bentley and Chuckery Pocket Park

Councillor Chris Jones, Portfolio Holder for Clean and Green said: “The Green Flag Awards from Keep Britain Tidy highlight the excellent green spaces that are available in the borough and we are extremely pleased to be receiving them.”

“These awards are a well deserved recognition of all the hard work that goes into providing the high quality local parks enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.”

In Cannock, Cannock Park, Castle Ring in Cannock Wood, Elmore Park in Rugeley, Hednesford Park, Ravenhill Park in Brereton and Stile Cop Cemetery all received the Green Flag Award.

Additionally Castle Ring, run by Cannock Chase Council, was a Green Heritage Site Winner.

Councillor Christine Mitchell Portfolio Leader for Culture and Sport said: “We’re proud to have six Green Flag awarded parks and green spaces in Cannock Chase.

"Cleaner safer and greener environments which offer a host of healthy initiatives are at the heart of the Council priorities. We know how much quality green spaces matter to residents and visitors, and this award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining these six sites to such a high standard.

"These awards are a tribute to the hard work that Council’s parks officers, staff, community groups and partners put into keeping the green spaces within Cannock Chase clean, tidy and well maintained for both residents and visitors to enjoy.”

In Stafford, Stafford Crematorium and Tixall Road Cemetery, Stonefield Park and Victoria Park, all won the annual Green Flag Award.

Victoria Park in Stafford has now won the Green Flag for the 11th consecutive year.

Councillor Mike Smith, Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “We know how well the grounds of our parks and cemetery are kept because our residents and visitors tell us – and they are our most important judges.”

“But it is always pleasing to also get national recognition for the work that we do – and a tremendous achievement that the crematorium, Victoria Park and Stonefield Park have once again been successful.”

Across South Staffordshire, Baggeridge Country Park and Wom Brook Walk won the award, whilst Watery Lanes Allotments and Leisure Gardens won the Green Flag Community Award.

International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme.

“Each flag is a celebration of the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. The success of the scheme, especially in these challenging times, demonstrates just how much parks matter to people.”

Doug Wootton

By Doug Wootton
Wolverhampton Reporter - @_DougWootton

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