Three open spaces in Central Bedfordshire have been recognised as some of the best community-run green spaces in the country in the National Green Flag Awards 2014/15.
The announcement of this year’s Award-winners came in the same week that thousands of people up and down the country celebrated our country’s fantastic parks and green spaces with Love Parks Week.
Linslade Wood, Studham Common and Flitton Moor have all been awarded with the Community Award for managing and improving the sites for everyone to enjoy, visit, appreciate and use as green spaces for healthy activities and quiet enjoyment. The sites are also carefully managed to help improve them for wildlife and biodiversity.
All three sites are managed by the council, with invaluable help from ‘Friends of’ groups who run work parties, fund raising activities, educational and guided walks and other events.
Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities, Services, said: “This is really fantastic news and our thanks go to the ‘Friends of’ groups who have put in so much work to achieve this accolade. Our own Countryside Access team oversee the parks and offer advice, tools, training and support through management plans and so on but we can’t accept these awards without acknowledging the hard graft that many local people put in too."
Studham Common, a County Wildlife site in south Bedfordshire, has been awarded a Green Flag for the seventh year in a row. Geoff Shute, Chairman of the Friends group there, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our Common has once again received the recognition it deserves. It is a very precious resource, for people and for wildlife, and we are honoured to play our part in looking after it. The award is a tremendous boost to our morale and will show visitors that the care of this beautiful green space is in good hands.”
Cllr Spurr added: “As a council, we aim to provide high quality green spaces for residents and visitors to enjoy across the whole of Central Bedfordshire. These awards are fantastic recognition of the great spaces we have. We hope that people will visit them or a site local to them over the summer and see for themselves.”
The Green Flag Awards are judged by an army of more than 700 volunteer experts who visit applicant sites and assess them against eight strict criteria, including biodiversity, access, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement.
This article is an edited version of an update bulletin from Central Bedfordshire Council.