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Green flags awarded to city parks

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Peterborough City Council's Itter Park has been awarded a prestigious Green Flag, the national standard for quality parks and green spaces, for the second year on the trot, with Central Park receiving its Green Flag award for the sixth consecutive year.


Both parks will appear in a list of over 740 green spaces in England, Scotland and Wales compiled by the Civic Trust on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government. Winning sites include cemeteries, country parks, nature reserves and water gardens. Sites must be freely accessible to the public, and provide a welcoming and well managed space for their local community.

"This is a fantastic achievement,” said Louise Wilcox, recreation manager for the city council. “We are extremely proud that Central Park has received this prestigious award for the sixth year running and we are absolutely thrilled that Itter Park has been awarded a Green Flag for the second time.

“The awards highlight the high priority the city council places on its parks and open spaces and the value they give to residents' quality of life. I would like to thank the public for supporting the city's parks. These awards reflect the hard work of everyone involved and I hope we can achieve a similar status for the city's other parks and green spaces in the years to come."

Opened in 1877, Central Park welcomes thousands of visitors annually and its attractions include a sunken garden, children’s play area and paddling pool, aviary, tennis courts, bowling and putting greens and the bustling Buttercross Tearooms.

In 2002/03 Central Park was awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, enabling major improvements to be made. As part of the project, a park ranger was appointed to manage the site. The park ranger service offers a range of community-based projects which include educational visits, wildflower planting, the installation of school-built bat boxes and continued development with the Friends of the Park group.

The 14-acre Itter Park, which was donated to the city council in 1936 by the family of the late mayor Arthur Itter, has benefited from the formation of a Friends of Itter Park group to promote the area as a safe and enjoyable recreational facility. Its facilities include tennis courts, bowling green, putting lawn, football pitches and a children's play area, which has been completely refurbished in the past year.

Itter Park recently underwent a high profile makeover, which coincided with the BBC’s Springwatch series. The makeover involved around 30 volunteers from various local organisations including members of the Friends of Itter Park group. Wildlife gardening experts and volunteers worked side by side to transform part of the park’s putting green into a natural pond and bog garden to attract wildlife including frogs, newts, dragonflies, butterflies and some ducks who are currently residing in a nearby supermarket car park.

Councillor David Sanders, cabinet member for city services, said: "Both Central Park and Itter Park are wonderful places and I would urge anybody who has not seen them recently to pay them a visit. They provide the ideal venue for a fantastic day out for the whole family and boast excellent facilities. High quality parks are the jewels in the crown of any community where people can relax, exercise and play. The best thing of all is that they are free for everyone to use.”

The Green Flag is the national standard for quality parks and green spaces and both Itter Park and Central Park are proud holders of Green Flag status. The parks appear in a list of over 740 green spaces, which are considered to be among the best in the country. Parks are judged on aspects such as local community involvement and the safety and maintenance of the facility in order to make it a welcoming place to visit.

This year’s award ceremony will be held in Liverpool on Thursday 24 July.

For information on all winners please visit www.greenflagaward.org.uk

July 2008 - Peterborough UK Community Website




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