Green spaces help to save health costs

A PARK on the edge of the A120 dual carriageway has received a major tourism boost this week, by earning itself a Green Flag Award.

Great Notley Country Park, run by Essex County Council, picked up the gong as a standard setter in the UK for quality green spaces.

It was one of a record 103 parks that claimed the annual recognition and has been earmarked as playing a major role in reducing environmental and health issues.

Communities and local Government Minister Andrew Stunell paid tribute to the “important role that green spaces play” in people’s lives and said: “A record of number of parks and green spaces across the country have been awarded a Green Flag – a testament to all the hard work that local authorities and communities put in to maintaining them.”

The Green Flag Award Scheme is the national standard for parks and recognises well-managed, high-quality areas that are assets to local environments, economies, health and well-being, and in bringing the community together.

A study by The UK National Ecosystems Assessment indicates that the health benefits of living with a view of green space are worth up to �300 per person per year.

Green Flag Plus Partnership chairman Phil Barton added: “The importance of good-quality green spaces cannot be overestimated. They are central to the growth of our communities, both socially and economically.

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“In these challenging financial times it is heartening that the number of awards continues to grow. We must ensure these high standards remain.”

The new flags will be raised throughout this week, as part of Love Parks Week.

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