Stafford Borough Council has achieved a first with news that three of its venues have picked up prestigious Green Flag Awards.
Victoria Park in Stafford has won the Green Flag – given to the best open spaces in the country – for the 10th consecutive year.
Meanwhile, Stafford Crematorium, on the town’s Tixall Road, has made it five Green Flags in a row.
But this year it has also been announced that Stonefield Park in Stone has scooped the honour for the first time.
The success is recognition of the well-kept grounds and floral displays at the borough council-run sites, which feature among a record-breaking 1,686 parks and green spaces that today received a prestigious Green Flag Award, as the scheme celebrates its 20th year.
The River Sow runs through the centre of Victoria Park, which boasts a hugely popular play area, bowling green and aviary amongst other attractions. Packed with families earlier this month for the annual Party in the Park, the park was opened in 1908 and has a dedicated ‘Friends’ group who raise awareness of this key heritage site and organise events to promote the area.
It could also benefit from a £2.5 million revamp if the project is backed by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Improvements would include an enhanced entrance, revamped bandstand, landscaping designed to improve access to the County War Memorial and a new catering facility.
Stonefield Park, located in the heart of Stone, is popular with visitors of all ages. It was opened by Sir Ernest Johnson on the 24 March 1928, containing formal flowerbeds, a bandstand, two tennis courts and a bowling green. With the exception of the bandstand these features still remain today.
The park also benefits from a ‘Friends’ group, set up by the Borough Council, who have helped get it in prime condition, working on everything from flower beds to general repairs and repainting benches.
Councillor Mike Smith, Deputy Leader of Stafford Borough Council, said:
“This is fantastic news. A tremendous amount of hard work is put in to ensure these venues are kept at the very highest standard and it is marvellous to finally see Stonefield Park given the recognition it deserves.”
The Green Flag Award scheme, run by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country. A Green Flag flying overhead is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.
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, especially as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Awards.
“All the flags flying this year are a testament to the efforts of the thousands of men and women, both staff and volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”
More information on all borough council run parks is available at www.staffordbc.gov.uk/parks