Bexhill’s Egerton Park received the prestigious Green Flag award for the third year running today (Thursday, July 23).
The park is one of eight in East Sussex to receive the accolade from the charity Keep Britain Tidy which is given to parks and green spaces which achieve the highest possible standards.
Sites are assessed against criteria including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement.
The award comes weeks after the park was awarded the certificate of excellence by travel website TripAdvisor in recognition of consistently positive reviews from the public.
Rother District Council cabinet member for Bexhill affairs, culture and tourism cllr Simon Elford said: “Egerton Park is a green oasis in the heart of town and a valuable asset not just for Bexhill but for Rother as a whole.
“To retain this award again is testament to the hard work of our parks team in keeping standards high and ensuring the park remains an attractive place for people to visit.
“With the onset of the summer holidays, hopefully this award should encourage even more people to come and enjoy all that the park has to offer.”
The park first won Green Flag status in 2013, following a £1 million refurbishment which included a new children’s play area, refreshment kiosk and sensory garden.
Further improvements have included the installation of new sensory sculptures relating to the park’s history and natural history, improvements to the entrances to the park and improvements to encourage wildlife including nest boxes and log piles.
International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme.
“All the flags flying this year are a testament to the efforts of the thousands of men and women, both staff and volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”
The park is maintained by The Landscape Group, who are contracted to maintain all of the council’s public green spaces.
Head gardener Richard Berry, who has been working in the park for almost 30 years, is assisted by apprentice Jamie Crowhurst in carrying out a range of tasks to keep the park safe and attractive, including maintaining the bowling green, shrub beds and lawns.
This year a record 1,582 parks and open spaces across the country received Green Flag status following visits from an army of more than 700 volunteer judges.
Communities minister Marcus Jones said: “Parks give millions of people and families a gateway to the great outdoors.
“They breathe life into communities by providing a much needed free space for physical activity and somewhere for children to play and are particularly important in town centres where many residents don’t have their own gardens.
“Its great to see so many of our great parks recognised this year and proudly flying the flag to celebrate all that’s best about our much-loved green spaces.”
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