Four Green Flags for Southend
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has justified its reputation for nurturing green spaces by retaining all four of its Green Flags.
A record 1,288 parks across the United Kingdom were awarded Green Flag status by Keep Britain Tidy this year.
They included Chalkwell Park, Belfairs Park and Nature Reserve, Priory Park and Southchurch Park in Southend.
In order to earn Green Flag status parks must be welcoming places which are healthy, safe, clean, graffiti and vandalism free and environmentally sustainable.
Other judging criteria includes maintenance of play equipment, buildings and landscape, heritage and nature conservation and community involvement.
In order to obtain Green Flag status parks are subjected to a desk top review of their management plans and a full field assessment.
Executive Councillor for Culture and Tourism, Derek Jarvis, said: “I am delighted that we have managed to retain the four Green Flags we were awarded by Keep Britain Tidy last year.
“We are very proud of the green spaces we have in the borough and our Parks Team works extremely hard to ensure they remain in such wonderful condition.
“In a densely-packed urban area like Southend it is all the more important that we have quality parks and open spaces for people to relax in away from the hustle and bustle.
“Quality parks and green spaces play a vital role within local communities. They contribute to the local environment, the local economy and health and wellbeing.”
A recent study by The UK National Ecosystems Assessment claimed the benefit to health of living with a view of green space was worth up to £300 per person per year.
Communities and Local Government Minister Andrew Stunell said: “This year, a record of number of parks and green spaces across the country have been awarded a Green Flag.#
“This is a testament to all the hard work that local authorities and communities put in to maintaining them.
“The announcement of this year’s winners also acts as a timely reminder to communities everywhere that there are hundreds of top-quality parks out there to enjoy.”
Green Flag Plus Partnership chairman Phil Barton said: “The importance of good-quality green spaces cannot be overestimated. They are central to the growth of our communities, both socially and economically.
“The Green Flag Award Scheme, and its growth, is essential in driving up the standards of our parks and green spaces.”
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