Sixteen parks in Havering are now flying Green Flags after Hornchurch Country Park and Spring Farm Park were awarded the accolade for 2020.
They join the borough’s 14 other parks which also hold the prestigious honour, taking our total number of green flags to 16, the most Havering has ever had.
The record-breaking number of Green Flags comes as the borough congratulates the work of parks and ground maintenance staff who maintain the parks to a high standard all year round.
A Green Flag Award means the parks boast the highest possible standards, are well maintained and have excellent facilities. The recognition is awarded by environmental charity, Keep Britain Tidy.
Havering is among over 2,000 parks and open spaces in the country to get the international quality mark of excellence this year.
Both new green flag parks have already bagged awards this year, Hornchurch Country Park retained a Gold Award in this year’s London in Bloom, while Spring Farm Park in Rainham, picked up a Silver Gilt Award in the same competition.
Parks have become a particular focus point for residents and visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic as being a place that people could still visit, even during the national lockdown.
They were places which helped boost well-being and mental health, giving people a chance to enjoy the outdoors safely as everyone was asked to follow social distancing guidelines.
Councillor Osman Dervish, Havering’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said:
“We are extremely proud as I am sure all our residents are, that we now have 16 Green Flags in our parks.
“Some of our parks have now held this award for many years, so we’re delighted that Hornchurch Country Park and Spring Farm Park, have joined this elite list.
“In what has been a very difficult year in the fight against coronavirus, our parks have become a place of sanctuary to many of our residents, they’re important places to be able to relax and somewhere to enjoy.
“I want to thank all our parks teams and ground maintenance staff who work extremely hard on a daily basis to keep our parks well maintained and safe for everyone to use.
“The Green Flag awards is also an official recognition of all the hard work put in by volunteers from friends of parks groups, supported by members. It is right that this dedication has been rewarded.”
Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “This year, more than ever, our parks and green spaces have been a lifeline and we know that millions of people have used them to relax, meet friends, exercise or simply escape for a short time.
“It is testament to the incredible dedication and hard work of parks staff and volunteers that, despite the challenges that went along with record numbers of visitors, Havering has achieved the highest international standards in its parks, demanded by the Green Flag Award.”
Havering’s Green Flag status parks are:
- Hornchurch Country Park
- Spring Farm Park
- Bedfords Park
- Upminster Park
- Hylands Park
- Lodge Farm Park
- Cottons Park
- Harold Wood Park
- St Andrews Park
- Lawns Park
- Raphael Park
- Central Park
- Rise Park
- Langtons Gardens
- Harrow Lodge Park
- Haynes Park