Green Flag Award for best parks

Jubilee Park, Ashton
Jubilee Park, Ashton

FOUR of the borough’s parks and green spaces have been given a prestigious award.

They are among 274 parks and green spaces across the North West recognised with a Green Flag Award or Community Award.

Jubilee Park in Ashton, Alexandra Park in Wigan, Pennington Hall Park in Leigh and Colliers Corner, Atherton have all been held up as the standard of what a good park should be.

Beacon Country Park on the outskirts of Wigan was also recognised in the list, which saw a record number of sites given the award.

The Green Flag Award Scheme is the national standard for parks in the UK and recognises well-managed, high-quality areas and the Community Award part of the scheme is awarded to parks or green spaces managed by a community or voluntary group.

Out of the four sites recognised all achieved the Green Flag Award except Colliers Corner, which was given the Community Award.

Sharon Saunders, Parks and Countryside Service Manager for Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, which manages the parks, said: “Last year was the first year we achieved three flags for the borough and we’re absolutely delighted to have retained this status. We have worked extremely hard to improve parks for everyone.

“There are now many more ‘Friends of’ groups which are involved in the local parks, helping to organise events or securing funding for improvements which makes a massive contribution to the look and feel of parks.

“We’re proud of the these awards which showcase these fabulous facilities and we aim to continue to improve in the future.””

In recent years, research has proved that quality parks and green spaces play a vital role, contributing to the local environment, economy, health and well-being, and bringing the community together.

Coun Chris Ready, Cabinet member for leisure, said: “This is a wonderful achievement. Parks have an important role to play in people’s lives and these awards recognise the hard work put in by so many to maintain and improve Wigan and Leigh’s fantastic parks.”

Green Flag Plus Partnership chairman Phil Barton said: ”The importance of good-quality green spaces cannot be overestimated. They are central to the growth of our communities, both socially and economically.

“As the value of green space and the role it plays in our communities strengthens, we must ensure these standards remain.”

A flag-raising ceremony to mark the occasion will be held at Jubilee Park this Friday at 2pm.