National Award For Four Merton Parks

Green Flag honour for open spaces in SW19

Four parks in Merton, including two in Wimbledon and another in Colliers Wood, have been recognised with a prestigious Green Flag Award.

For the first time South Park Gardens in Wimbledon was a winner and can raise its Green Flag along with John Innes Park, Wimbledon; Colliers Wood Recreation Ground; and Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Field in Morden. The parks impressed the judges with their quality use of green space, well-maintained facilities and welcoming atmosphere.

This year has seen the highest number of awards handed out - a record 1,200 Green Flags across the UK compared to 1,013 in 2009.

Only green spaces that are free to enter and open to the public are eligible to win an award through the scheme, which is run by environmental charities Keep Britain Tidy, BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) and GreenSpace.

Merton Council cabinet member for environmental sustainability Councillor Andrew Judge said: "This is great news for Merton. We live in a beautiful borough and it is wonderful to see our parks rewarded for being among the best in the UK. Our parks staff and friends of those parks should be very proud."

Pictured (left) in South Park Gardens are: South Park Gardens gardener John Macey; Trinity ward councillor Councillor James Holmes; Deputy Mayor Councillor Margaret Brierl ; Pelham School pupils Rebekah Jones and Precious Anyait (out on the day enjoying the park with their friends); Friend of South Park Gardens Jil Hall; South Park Gardens gardener Robin Willson.

Green Flag award scheme manager Paul Todd, said: "It’s a remarkable achievement that so many parks have successfully reached Green Flag Award status this year. The staff running the parks work very hard throughout the year to ensure their facilities are maintained to a high standard and enjoyed by the entire community.

"As the recession bites and people look closer to home to enjoy the outdoors, the provision of high-quality, free open spaces is of particular importance."

The awards could not come at a better time as Green Space’s Love Parks week takes place between July 24 and August 1, during which people will be encouraged to enjoy the nation’s parks and green spaces.

 Find out about Merton’s parks and open spaces:

July 28, 2010