Three of the very best parks and open spaces in the UK are here in Milton Keynes after winning top awards.
Leon Recreation Ground, Chepstow Drive Park and Eaglestone Local Park were given the national Green Flag award from environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.
Councllor Mick Legg, cabinet member responsible for public realm which includes parks, said: “Milton Keynes prides itself on having more than 44 million trees with green space making up 40% of the borough.
“This award recognises and highlights that people in the borough are benefitting from green spaces of the very highest quality and we’re delighted that these parks will continue to fly the Green Flag for Milton Keynes.”
A Green Flag flying overhead is a sign to visitors that the space boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.
Simon Rose, parks and environment officer for West Bletchley Council, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive a Green Flag Award for the seventh year from Keep Britain Tidy at Chepstow Local Park.
“This Award recognises and highlights that people in West Bletchley are benefitting from a green space of the very highest quality.”
In total, 1,476 parks, cemeteries, universities, shopping centres and community gardens have met the high standard needed to receive the Award.
In Milton Keynes Leon Recreation Ground and Eaglestone Local Park are managed by Milton Keynes Council while Chepstow Local Park is now being run by West Bletchley Council.
Leon Recreation Ground, which first won the award in 2011, hosts several events each year including Midsummer Madness, a busy community event with locals attending in large numbers.
The park caters for everyone with an exercise station, playgrounds for all ages, spectacular wild flower displays, skateboard ramp and youth shelter.
Chepstow Local Park, developed in conjunction with the friends group and West Bletchley Parish Council, gained its first Green Flag in 2007 and offers play areas for all ages, a woodland walk, a pond area, football goals and pleasant walks.
Eaglestone Local Park, developed with the Eaglestone Residents Association and Woughton Community Council, first acquired a Green Flag in 2009 and offers a range of activities and services to the local community with a multi-station park gym, climbing wall and play for all ages.
The announcement of this year’s Award-winners comes in the same week that thousands of people up and down the country are celebrating our country’s fantastic parks and green spaces with Love Parks Week, which runs from July 25 to August 3.
International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “This is something well worth celebrating and testament to the efforts of the thousands of men and women, supported by some amazing volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”