The annual Green Flag Awards have once again shown the quality of the environment in West London, with the sub-region being awarded over 100, more than Scotland.
West London punches above its weight – it has around a quarter of all the Green Flags awarded in the capital, and many more than areas of the country much better known for their open spaces.
Hounslow hit a new high – being awarded 16, a third more than in 2019. Bridge House Pond and All Saints Churchyard were both awarded green flags for the first time and Feltham Green and Redlees Park regained their award status once again. Other parks, like Bedfont Lakes Country Park (pictured) maintained their Green Flag status.
In a year when public green space has played a special role, this is a timely reminder of the quality of life in the sub-region.
The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for their management across the UK and around the world. There are over 2,000 sites across the country collecting the Green Flag Award for 2020.
Cllr Samia Chaudhary, Cabinet Member for Leisure Services at Hounslow Council said: “We all know Hounslow is one of the most beautiful boroughs in London and it is great to have so many of our parks and green spaces officially recognised with a Green Flag Award.
“It is fitting to receive such recognition in a year where the value of having great quality green spaces nearby has never been clearer. I am also pleased to see one of our churchyards has received the green-flag status after the publication and implementation of our cemetery strategy.”
Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “This year, more than ever, our parks and green spaces have been a lifeline and we know that millions of people have used them to relax, meet friends, exercise or simply escape for a short time.
“It is testament to the incredible dedication and hard work of parks staff and volunteers that, despite the challenges that went along with record numbers of visitors, the parks have achieved the highest international standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”
In Harrow, Canons Park, Harrow Recreation Ground, Roxeth Recreation Ground, Pinner Memorial Park and Kenton Recreation Ground were all awarded the accolade. Grade II-listed Canons Park includes The King George V Memorial Garden, a walled garden, which was originally part of the duke’s kitchen gardens and was re-designed in the 1930s, once the park became open to the public.
Cllr Varsha Parmar, Environment Portfolio Holder at Harrow Council, said: “This recognition of the Borough’s wonderful parks is a tremendous honour and shows richness in our green spaces.
“With the Covid-19 pandemic our green spaces have been even more important for our residents this year for exercise and mental and physical health.
“These fantastic resources provide tranquil respite from stress and space for safe exercise. They are also rich with biodiversity and encourage high environmental standards.”