Six Comet country parks win Green Flag award

Cllr, Lynda Needham, Leader of council, Sarah Hazel, park ranger, Stephen Geach, HDC, John O'conner,

Cllr, Lynda Needham, Leader of council, Sarah Hazel, park ranger, Stephen Geach, HDC, John O'conner, chairman John O'conner Grounds Maintenance, Zoe Channon, Projects officer CMS, Keith Gayner, Mike Mccarthy and Cllr, Peter Burt at Howard Park in Letchworth - Credit: Archant

TWO Comet country green spaces have received special awards for the first time, joining another four beauty spots in the area.

Norton Common, Letchworth

Norton Common, Letchworth - Credit: Archant

This year’s Green Flag winners were announced on Monday, with parks in Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth GC and Stotfold all featuring.

Oughtonhead Common, Hitchin

Oughtonhead Common, Hitchin - Credit: Archant

Oughtonhead Common in Hitchin and Howard Park and Gardens in Letchworth GC were awarded the status for the first time.

Stotfold Water Mill

Stotfold Water Mill - Credit: Archant

Letchworth GC’s Norton Common won the award for the fourth year running, Stotfold Water Mill received it for the second year running, and Fairlands Valley Park and Town Centre Gardens in Stevenage were commended for the fifth and third time respectively.

The Green Flag is awarded to spaces which meet national standards. The parks must be deemed welcoming, healthy, safe, clean, well-maintained and sustainable, among other criteria.

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Stevenage borough councillor John Gardiner, executive member for environment and regeneration, said: “I’m very pleased that our parks have once again been recognised with these prestigious Green Flags.

“Our residents and our visitors make great use of all our parks and open spaces, and these awards recognise the commitment of those who have worked so hard to make them so popular.

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“I hope that our volunteers and partners, who make a valuable contribution to these green spaces, will also share in this success. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

Special ceremonies were held in North Herts on Monday morning, attended by those who help out with the parks.

Cllr Peter Burt, NHDC’s portfolio holder for environment, said: “Green Flag awards are the result of a lot of hard work and investment. Thank you to John O’Conner who work with the council to maintain these areas, and also to the Countryside Management Service who support our work.

“The biggest thank you goes to the many volunteers and local groups who recognise the huge impact that parks and green spaces have on their communities, and who offer their time to help us provide top quality spaces for people of all ages to enjoy.”

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