A park in Stafford has become the sixth in the borough to be listed among the best parks and open spaces in the country.
For the first time Wildwood Park has been awarded the ‘Green Flag’ – and now joins Victoria Park, Stonefield Park, the Crematorium in Stafford, the town’s Eccleshall Road Cemetery and Stone cemetery in achieving the honour.
Wildwood Park includes a skate bowl, outdoor gym equipment, multi-use games area, children’s play park, tennis court and football pitches.
The ‘Green Flag’ is the national yardstick for the best parks and open spaces in the UK. The scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for their management across the United Kingdom and around the world.
More than 2,000 sites across the country have collected the award for 2020.
Stone cemetery received the award for the first time in 2019. It is the third year the 160 year old cemetery at Eccleshall Road in Stafford has achieved the award, with Stonefield Park celebrating a fifth success, and the Crematorium on Tixall Road and Victoria Park making it nine and 14 years of holding the ‘Flag’ respectively.
Work on the £2.5million restoration of Victoria Park will be completed this month with historic features such as the bandstand and Mottram Shelter refurbished and a new café on the site.
Stonefield Park, located in the heart of Stone, was opened by Sir Ernest Johnson in 1928. It boasts formal flowerbeds, tennis courts and a bowling green.
Councillor Jonathan Price, Cabinet Member for Environment at the council, said: “It is great to welcome a sixth venue in our area to the ‘Green Flag’ club. We know how well the grounds of our parks and cemeteries are kept because our residents and visitors tell us – and they are our most important judges.
“But receiving national recognition for the hard work that we do is always pleasing – and a tremendous achievement for Wildwood Park to join the others who have once again been successful.”
He added: “Our community has been instrumental in helping us achieve this success – especially the ‘Friends’ groups that support the work of the council at these sites.”
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, Stafford Borough Council has achieved the highest international standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”
Press Release No 5679