Newbury’s Victoria Park has once again been awarded ‘Green Flag’ status for 2021/2022, recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme as one of the very best in the world. The Town Council received the Award for ‘The Jewel in Newbury’s Crown’, as Victoria Park is known, for the first time in 2019 and have worked hard to retain the high standard required.
The prestigious Green Flag Award is the recognised mark of a quality park or green space and demonstrates to the public that the Park boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.
Cllr Martin Colston, Leader of the Council said, “We are absolutely delighted to retain this award, which was an objective of the Town Council Strategy. This is the result of a great deal of hard work by Council staff, especially our Parks and Open Spaces Officer, James Heasman and our Community Services Manager, David Ingram. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Victoria Park has been an outdoor haven throughout the seasons and residents coping with lockdown restrictions have been able to continue to enjoy the Park and all it has to offer.
We know how much quality green spaces matter to residents and visitors, particularly in these uncertain times. This award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining the Park to such a high standard”.
Cllr Sarah Slack, Chairperson of the Council’s Community Services Committee, said, “We are very proud of Victoria Park and the facilities we have to offer. We are excited for the future, with the new café facility on the horizon the Park will be even more of a special place to be”.
Research carried out by YouGov for Keep Britain Tidy over the summer shows just how important parks are to the British public.
It reveals that having access to a quality park or green space helped improve people’s mental health with almost six in ten (59%) saying they felt less stressed when using the park and 55% saying they felt more positive in general.
Commenting on Victoria Park’s success, Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “As Green Flag Award celebrates 25 years of raising the standard, Keep Britain Tidy is delighted to be the custodian of a scheme that does so much to ensure our parks and green spaces go from strength to strength.
At a time when parks have been at the heart of every community across the country it is perhaps not surprising that 95% of the public thinks that their local parks and green spaces need to be protected.
This is why the Green Flag Award is so important. It ensures that parks and green spaces are managed to the highest standards and are safe and accessible for everyone to enjoy and we look forward to the next 25 years.”