Woodford Park is the first park in the Wokingham Borough area to receive Green Flag status, and joins other green spaces awarded recognition across the UK.
The park is among a record-breaking 1,883 UK parks and green spaces that have received a prestigious Green Flag Award – the mark of a quality park or green space.
This 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.
Town Mayor, Sam Rahmouni, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive a Green Flag Award for first time. We know how much quality green spaces matter to residents and visitors, and this award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining Woodford Park to such a high standard with Woodley Town Council and the Friends of Woodford Park’s support.”
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, with more Green Flags awarded this year than last year. Each flag honours the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. We are proud to have so many wonderful green spaces in the UK for people to enjoy, and hope that next year, we award even more flags.”
The judges were particularly delighted with the changes made from last year’s visit to Woodford Park and commented that “it was a privilege to judge this site on their second year of judging”. Key areas highlighted include the entrance to the park with the decorative gates, memorial and decorative beds being welcoming and inviting, as well as the new signs in the park.
Healthy, safe and security was also commended, alongside how well-maintained and clean the park is, with very high standards for litter and dog waste. Woodford Park was also applauded for how the environment is managed with minimal chemical use and also the investment in the park’s biodiversity landscape; particularly the regeneration of the lake and the further work planned.
“This site really delivers a great amount for the community as a resource. It is really well used by a wide range of community groups, some of whom organise regular events that provide a focus for community spirit in Woodley and enhance the area as a place to live and play. Really impressed with the Friends group and other community groups who are positive, enthusiastic and make a real contribution to the standard of the park. The paddling pool is an excellent facility for small children. The youth centre and skate ramps cater for young people. Provision for active sports is good. There are lots of benches for the elderly,” the report cited.
Bill Soane, Chairman of Woodley Town Council’s Leisure Services Committee comments: “We are delighted with the Green Flag award and it has been many years of hard work from the team and I would like to thank our previous Head Groundsman, Kevin Weller for his work towards this award during his nearly 40 years of service, our current Grounds Maintenance Manager, Terry Gough, his team and the Friends of Woodford Park who have all contributed to create such a wonderful green space and put Woodley firmly on the map.”
Woodley Town Council will be displaying the flag in the park in the near future.