Another great year for Guildford's parks and green spaces

Guildford's parks and green spaces have once again been recognised for being beautifully maintained, having the highest possible environmental standards and excellent visitor facilities, retaining our status as one of the best areas to visit in the South East.

This year's newest addition, Lakeside Nature Reserve in Ash, raises our total Green Flag national awards across the borough to eight. Our other sites are the Riverside Nature Reserve, Allen House Grounds, Guildford Castle Grounds, Sutherland Memorial Park, Guildford Crematorium, Chilworth Gunpowder Mills and Stoke Park.

This new award is particularly special as Lakeside is Guildford's second Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) area to be recognised. Now two of our four SANG sites hold Green Flag recognition. Riverside Nature Reserve, the 33-hectare area alongside the River Wey to the North of Guildford, was the first SANG to gain the award. SANGs are green spaces that provide recreation opportunities in a natural setting to reduce visitor pressure within the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area.

Councillor David Bilbe, Lead Councillor for Enterprise and Economic Development says: "We are delighted to receive the awards again this year and especially to add another SANG area. I'd like to thank our Parks team, whose hard work all year round keeps our parks and green spaces looking great for everyone to enjoy. They are responsible for 52 countryside sites and 65 parks and green sites which together with other facilities totals a substantial 2,600 acres."

He adds: "A Green Flag Award not only indicates to the public that the green space meets the highest standards and provides national recognition for all the parks managers, staff and volunteers who, through their dedication and hard work, have helped to create and maintain these fantastic places."

The national award, now into its third decade, is similar to Blue Flag for beaches. This year 1,883 Green Flags were awarded to green spaces both large and small across the UK, almost 100 more than in 2017. The spaces are assessed according to eight strict criteria including sustainability, community involvement, horticultural standards, and cleanliness.

For more information on our parks and green spaces visit Parks, playgrounds and green spaces.

Published on Thursday 26 July.