Riverside Park Friends ‘thrilled’ with another Green Flag accolade

green flag award logoRiverside Park has again been recognised by the Green Flag award scheme which rewards well-managed parks and green spaces.



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It’s one of three Southampton parks to win the prestigious award, which sets “the benchmark standard for the management of recreational outdoor spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world”, according to the Green Flag Award’s website.

St James’ Park in Shirley and central parks were also awarded Green Flags.

Every other year evaluation is made by ‘mystery shop’ rather than “full judging”, and this year’s decisions were based on mystery shopping.

Judging and the announcement of winners was in autumn rather than summer this year due to Covid and the lockdown.

Doug Perry, Friends of Riverside Park (FORP) chair, said he was “thrilled” by the “absolutely excellent” news.

“We tried to carry on. We worked up until March planting – we put a lot of wild flowers in ... we’ve put a complete new hedge in. And then of course lockdown came,” he said.

He added that the group wasn’t able to hold its AGM this year because of social distancing, and while litter picks are often well attended by the public, he would welcome new members and new ideas. For example he said one new initiative FORP hopes to run is labelling trees to increase nature awareness and create a 'tree trail'.

Nick Yeats, service manager at Southampton City Council, said the win was “a testament to all the hard work [FORP] put into keeping it running and looking so good”.

Councillor Steve Leggett, cabinet member for green city & place said: “Our parks and open spaces are essential to creating a cleaner, greener, healthier city and in a year where having quality green spaces on our doorstep has been more important than ever, it’s great that our Central parks, Riverside Park and James’s Park have been awarded this fantastic accolade.”

The Green Flag Award scheme is managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

• There's more information about joining FORP on their website


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