Great Notley Country Park to be lit up in green to celebrate Green Flag status

Park Ranger Andrea Gabriel and Councillor Simon Walsh with the Green Flag Award. Picture: Essex County Council

Park Ranger Andrea Gabriel and Councillor Simon Walsh with the Green Flag Award. Picture: Essex County Council - Credit: Essex County Council

Country parks in Essex have been awarded Green Flag status.

To celebrate, the visitor centre at Great Notley Country Park will be lit up in green today (Wednesday, October 14).

Six other county parks - Thorndon, Weald, Belhus Woods, Danbury, Cudmore Grove and Hadleigh - all received Green Flag status and will display their new flags within the park grounds.

Each of the country parks, owned by Essex County Council, have something unique, from the longest children’s play trail in the county at Great Notley or the five lakes at Belhus Woods to the deer enclosure at Weald.

Green Flag status recognises and rewards well managed parks and demonstrates that the spaces meet the needs of the communities they serve.

The international award also confirms to the public that the park boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

Councillor Simon Walsh, Essex County Councillor Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change Action, said: “We are delighted that our country parks have been awarded the prestigious Green Flag status once again.

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“It truly is a testament to our park development managers and rangers – as well as our highly regarded and respected voluntary and friends’ groups – and the fantastic work they do which ensures our green spaces meet this excellent standard.

“During the summer months, more members of the public accessed our parks when compared to the previous three years, which is wonderful and shows just how important and beneficial these green spaces are for our communities.

“Also, our specially designed, natural children’s play areas are a great way for our younger members to keep active and have fun.

“As autumn and winter approaches, we would hope everyone will be able to take advantage of our green spaces and to keep visiting our parks by wrapping-up warm and enjoying the great outdoors.”

Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive, said: “This year, more than ever, our parks and green spaces have been a lifeline and we know that 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, Essex Country Parks have achieved the highest international standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”