Three Worcester parks recognised as some of the best in the UK

For the second year running three of Worcester’s favourite parks, which are all maintained by the City Council, have been named in an award scheme recognising the very best parks and green spaces in the UK.

Fort Royal, the centre of the final battle of the English Civil War in 1651, Gheluvelt and Cripplegate parks have all been awarded prestigious green flags, during Love Parks Week (13 – 22 July 2018).

This international award scheme, which is run by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, signals to the public that Green Flag parks boast the highest possible environmental standards, are beautifully maintained and have excellent visitor facilities.

Cllr Joy Squires, Chair of the City Council’s Environment Committee said:

“These awards are testament to the hard work and dedication of the City Council’s team and the parks’ Friends groups, who strive to maintain the highest standards throughout the year.

“Visitor numbers to our parks have soared during this spell of hot weather - I’d like to thank everyone who contributes to their upkeep, ensuring they are safe, welcoming places which people of all ages can enjoy.”

Fort Royal Park is located south-east of the city centre, with the main entrance on Wylds Lane.  Fort Royal Park is of critical historical significance to the city, as the site of the 1651 Battle of Worcester, the final battle of the English Civil War. It was also visited by the second and third Presidents of the United States of America, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who were keen to see the site they regarded as the place where democracy was effectively born.

The park boasts stunning views of the city and a fantastic playground, containing innovative play equipment with a Civil War theme, designed for a range of age groups.

Situated on Barbourne Road in the north of the city, Gheluvelt Park attracts nearly a million visitors a year. It is home to the fantastically popular Spalshpad water fountain – loved by families across the city. The Splashpad was part of a £1.4m Heritage Lottery Fund-backed makeover in 2010, which also brought a specially commissioned war memorial feature, new play area and a refurbished bandstand.

Gheluvelt Park is on Historic England’s official Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. Twelve houses built within the park for disabled servicemen have Grade II Listed status, along with its bandstand, entrance arch, gates and railings.

Cripplegate Park is located to the west of the city on New Road, opposite the County Cricket ground. The park boasts stunning flower beds; separate play areas for toddlers through to teens; tennis courts and bowling greens. There is also a striking, nine-foot sculpture of a poppy, created in honour of the men of the Worcestershire Yeomanry who were killed in First World War battles in the Egyptian desert.

Worcester City’s three premier parks are among a record-breaking 1,797 UK parks and green spaces to receive a prestigious Green Flag Award this week – the mark of a quality park or green space.

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.”

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