The Mere and Severn Valley Country Park flying the Green Flag as some of the UK’s best green spaces
Two of Shropshire’s country parks have again been recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme as some of the very best in Great Britain.
The Mere at Ellesmere, and Severn Valley Country Park, near Alveley, managed by Shropshire Council, were among 1,797 UK parks and green spaces that have received the prestigious Green Flag Award – the mark of a quality park or green space.
For Severn Valley Country Park, this is a record-breaking 14th consecutive year, and The Mere its 4th consecutive year they have maintained their place amongst the top parks in the UK.
The Green Flag Awards are judged by an army of more than 700 green space experts, who volunteer their time to visit applicant sites and assess them against eight strict criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement. The international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.
Both award winning parks boast outstanding natural habitats for wildlife and biodiversity, and offer visitors a place to explore and enjoy Shropshire’s beautiful green spaces.
The Mere at Ellesmere with its beautiful lake with gardens, woodland walks and historic parkland, sits on the edge of the medieval market town of Ellesmere. It is the largest of nine meres and mosses that can be found in the unique Shropshire landscape. The Mere, at 46 hectares, is the largest of Shropshire’s meres, its immediate setting demonstrates a rich diversity of natural and cultural heritage.
Severn Valley Country Park offers an oasis of peace and tranquillity. The park features a teashop and visitor centre, natural play area, way-marked walking and cycling routes and an orienteering trail. Staff work hard to put on events and this summer has seen monthly guided walks, a visit from a touring theatre company and a range of children’s events. An active and growing volunteer group help to maintain the park. The park has applied for funding to restore the wetland area and improve access to the wetland for visitors and school
Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture and leisure, said:
“We are absolutely delighted that our country parks have again received the Green Flag Award.
“We know how much quality green spaces matter to residents and visitors and this award recognises and highlights the fact that people in Shropshire are benefitting from a green space of the very highest quality.
“This award also celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining both The Mere and Severn Valley Country Park to such a high standard. I would urge as many people as possible to take advantage of these wonderful assets, both for their natural beauty and for the benefits to individual health.”
Ann Hartley, local Shropshire Councillor for Ellesmere Urban, said:
“We are very proud of The Mere in Ellesmere and I’m sure everyone is absolutely delighted that we have been recognised as a Green Flag status green space. I’d like to personally thank all the staff and, very importantly, all the volunteers involved in maintaining this ‘jewel in the crown’.
Dave Tremellen, local Shropshire Councillor for Highley, added:
“The heritage and natural beauty of this part of Shropshire is a big draw for tourists as well as being a fantastic asset for local people. Severn Valley Country Park is a wonderful gateway into this wider landscape and deserves national recognition through the Green Flag Award Scheme.”
Tina Woodward, local Shropshire Councillor for Alveley and Claverley, said:-
“I am delighted that Severn Valley Country Park has been awarded the Green Flag again this year. It is a real credit to the small team of Shropshire Council staff and volunteers who dedicate a lot of their time in maintaining and improving the site, year on year.”
To find out more about The Mere at Ellesmere and Severn Valley Country Park go to http://www.shropshiresgreatoutdoors.co.uk/parks-and-sites/
A full list of Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award winners is available here: http://www.greenflagaward.org/award-winners/
The Green Flag Awards Scheme (http://greenflagaward.org/) is run by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, under licence from the Department of Communities and Local Government, in partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful, Keep Wales Tidy and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens and the National Housing Federation.
Keep Britain Tidy is a leading environmental charity. We campaign for quality parks and green spaces for everyone, inspire people to be litter-free, to waste less and to live more. We are run programmes including Eco-Schools, the Green Flag Award for parks and green spaces and the Blue Flag/ Seaside Awards for beaches. To find out more about Keep Britain Tidy, our programmes and campaigns visit www.keepbritaintidy.org.
Any green space that is accessible to the public is eligible to enter for a Green Flag Award. Awards are given on an annual basis and winners must apply each year to renew their Green Flag status. A Green Flag Community Award recognises quality sites managed by voluntary and community groups. Green Heritage Site accreditation is judged on the treatment of the site’s historic features and the standard of conservation.