Three Lambeth green spaces have been awarded prestigious ‘Green Flags’ for the first time, joining three more that have retained the special status for another year.
The Lambeth parks singled out for the awards are Archbishop’s Park, Vauxhall Park, Ruskin Park, Myatt’s Fields Park, St. Paul’s Churchyard in Clapham and Milkwood Community Park.
The Green Flag Award is the national standard for parks and green spaces in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and parks gaining Green Flag Award status must satisfy exacting standards for safety, cleanliness and attractiveness.
Myatt’s Fields, Archbishop’s and Ruskin Park have all grabbed the prestigious accolade for the first time this year, thanks to a range of improvements introduced by Lambeth Council working with local people.
Vauxhall Park, Milkwood and St Paul’s have all maintained their current high standards to ensure they retain their Green Flags. The council believes the substantial improvements it has been making to parks and green spaces in recent years means that more of the borough’s open spaces are very close to achieving Green Flag Award status in subsequent years, and the council will be working hard to making sure this becomes a reality.
In addition to winning six Green Flags this year, two popular community gardens, Eden at St. Paul’s and Brockwell Community Greenhouses, have also secured a Green Pennant Award. The Green Pennant recognises the sterling efforts of local residents in managing and developing each of these attractive sites for the benefit of the wider community.
Each winning open space has benefited significantly from a range of practical actions designed to maintain and improve popular facilities like playgrounds, as well as ensuring the management of each site plays on its particular strengths. All of the winning sites have active and enthusiastic Friends groups who have been working alongside the council to secure inward investment and to ensure each open space is being used by the whole community all the time.
Councillor Rachel Heywood, Cabinet member for Culture and Communities on Lambeth Council, said:
“I’m delighted that Lambeth now has six green spaces judged to be as well maintained as any in the country – double the amount we had last year.
“Everybody who works in or cares about Lambeth’s parks and greenspaces, and that includes Park Friends groups as well as council officers and our grounds and tree maintenance contractors, have been working hard all year round to get our parks up to Green Flag standard and keep them there. You only have to travel across Lambeth on any day to realise how popular and valued our open spaces are, providing as they do safe and welcoming places for relaxation, education, sports, events and wildlife, and almost always for free.
“We couldn’t have done this without the help of our local Park Friends groups who are as committed to quality and excellence as councillors and officers are. I can think of many more open spaces in the borough that are getting close to or at Green Flag Award or Pennant standard, so I know these won’t be the last for Lambeth!”
Lindsay Avebury, Chair of Myatt’s Fields Park Project Group, which worked in partnership with Lambeth Council on the park’s renovation and ongoing management, said: “Green Flag status is a fantastic accolade for Myatt’s Fields Park and the icing on the cake after all the hard work the community has put in with council officers over the past few years. The community is really proud of all the improvements we have helped to make to our park. The success story of Myatt’s Fields Park shows what can be achieved when everyone works together.