Flying the green flag
Hillingdon receives the highest number of green flag awards
DURING a ceremony at the new Polish War Memorial Garden on Saturday attended by the Mayor of Hillingdon, the council had plenty to celebrate as the park was given its own Green Flag.
It joins 42 other venues scooping the accoloade
HILLINGDON now boasts the highest number of Green Flag awarded parks and green spaces in the world with a staggering 42 scooping the prestigious accolade.
During a ceremony at the new Polish War Memorial Garden on Saturday September 3, Hillingdon Council had plenty to celebrate as the park was given its own Green Flag.
The park in South Ruislip was opened last September by the leader of the council Ray Puddifoot and the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in London, His Excellency Witold Sobkow.
Hillingdon Council’s cabinet member for finance, property and business services, Councillor Jonathan Bianco, said: “The Green Flag awards are the highest accolade for parks and green spaces and it’s a phenomenal achievement for the council to gain eight new flags in one year and have more than 40 in total.
“We’d really like to thank our council officers and community and volunteer groups for all their hard work and dedication in making this happen.”
The borough has seen the number of parks with Green Flag status jump from 34 last year to 42 now.
Mayor of Hillingdon Cllr John Hensley laid a wreath during the ceremony and was joined by Cllr Puddifoot and representatives from the Polish Airforce.
Hillingdon already boasted more Green Flags than any other local authority in the UK, but now the awards have opened up to other countries it is now top of the international list.
The Green Flag Awards were first launched in 1996 and there are now winners in the Republic of Ireland, Germany, The Netherlands, Finland, Australia, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates.
The war memorial was once wasteland transformed by the council to honour Polish armed forces who lost their lives at war.
Other newly awarded parks in the borough are Northwood Recreation Ground, Philpots Farm, Hogs Back, Pinn Meadow, Pinkwell Park, West Drayton Cemetary and Park Road Green.
The green flag scheme was set up in 1996 to recognise and reward green spaces that met the specified high standards. It is also seen as a way of encouraging others to achieve the same high environmental standards, creating a benchmark of excellence in recreational green areas. Any free to enter public park or green space is eligible to apply for a Green Flag Award.
Parks and green spaces are judged in April and May each year and the winners are announced in July. Parks must apply each year to keep their Green Flag Award, and winning sites are eligible to fly a Green Flag in the park for a year.
They are judged against eight key criteria: a welcoming place; healthy, y, safe and secure; clean and d well maintained; d; sustainability; conservation and heritage; community involvement; marketing and management.
n WININNG SITES: Eastcote House gardens has been at the heart of Eastcote for 500 years; Manor Farm is Hillingdon’s flagship heritage and culture site and Ruilsip Lido is a 60-acre lake with sandy beaches and a narrow gauge railway around it, on the edge of Ruislip woods