Celebrating 20 years of award-winning parks

21 July 2016

The Green Flags will be flying high in South Ribble, with today’s announcement that council parks and open spaces have been ranked among the top in the UK for two decades.

Worden Park in Leyland has scooped its 20th consecutive honour in the prestigious Green Flag Awards 2016/17. It is the only park north of London to be awarded every single year since the scheme began.

Longton Brickcroft Nature Reserve and Hurst Grange Park in Penwortham were also handed the top honour in this year’s awards, to the delight of officers and the ‘friends’ groups who help keep the parks in great condition.

The pair aren’t far behind Worden Park, with Longton having raised 19 coveted flags while Hurst Grange Park has held on to the title since 2005 when it was first awarded one.

The award recognises and rewards the best free 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.

The good news comes as work on a £500,000 raft of improvements – which includes a contribution from the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal – to Worden Park is well underway. Another 128 parking spaces are being added with a further extension to the overflow car park, and a refurbishment to the iconic Conservatory and Vine House which date back to the 1800s is in the pipeline. There will also be brand new toilet facilities added later this year.

The proposals are part of the £1m investment by South Ribble Borough Council into parks and open spaces over the next 12 months.

And with the creation of Central Parks – the first of which, St Catherine’s Park in Lostock Hall, was officially opened in spring, South Ribble will continue to live up to its reputation as the garden of Lancashire.

Councillor Peter Mullineaux, South Ribble Borough Council cabinet member for Neighbourhoods and Street Scene, said: “Congratulations to the dedicated staff and volunteers who work tirelessly all year round to keep up standards and to ensure that these parks keep hold of their Green Flag status, ranking them among the very best in the county.

“At South Ribble we are over the moon to have achieved 20 years of Green Flag Awards for Worden Park. We know residents and visitors love the park and are committed to making continual improvements to ensure Worden, and all of our parks and open spaces, will be enjoyed now and for generations to come.

“This huge achievement is not only down to our staff, but is also a massive credit to the loyal army of volunteers who regularly give up their own free time to help maintain the parks and open spaces and for that I sincerely thank them.”

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