If this year has taught us anything, it’s how much we love and value our parks and greenspaces. Today, parks and green spaces across the country will be raising their Green Flag Award with pride in a year when millions of us have seen the value of having great quality green spaces on our doorstep.
Proudly among them will be our own Chard Reservoir, Ham Hill Country Park and Yeovil Country Park, who have all successfully retained the Green Flag Award accreditation which is managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for their management across the United Kingdom and around the world.
Our Green Flag Award winners are:-
Chard Reservoir is a local nature reserve on the Eastern side of Chard, Somerset. An area of outstanding natural beauty for both people and wildlife, where people are offered special opportunities to study or learn about nature or simply just enjoy it. This will be its 10th year to receive Green Flag accreditation.
Ham Hill Country Park is a 390-acre country park about 4 miles west of Yeovil. Centred on an Iron Age Hillfort it boasts beautiful views over much of South Somerset and beyond. Bursting with history, wonderful countryside walks, children's play area and picnic areas, there is something for everyone. Ham Hill Country Park receives the Green Flag award for the 15th time and has also achieved the much-coveted Green Heritage Site Accreditation, supported by Historic England for its management of its historic features.
Yeovil Country Park receives the Green Flag Award for the 15th consecutive year. The park is comprised of five main areas all of which have very different characteristics and land features. The landscape varies from Ninesprings which is the most heavily used and accessible section with its network of footpaths and waterways to the Riverside walk which gives the feeling of being away from the hustle and bustle of town as you stroll through woodland following the path of the River Yeo. A truly wonderful place for everyone to enjoy.
South Somerset District Council Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder Councillor Mike Best praised staff and volunteers “Our three Green Flag Sites have seen their busiest spring and summer ever. Despite the additional pressures this has put on the staffing teams, it has been uplifting to see so many people visiting our countryside areas during these times of uncertainty and it’s fantastic to see that they are treasured by so many. It makes all of the hard work that goes into managing these sites worthwhile.”
Commenting on South Somerset District Council’s three winning parks, 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, South Somerset District Council has achieved the highest international standards at Chard Reservoir, Ham Hill Country Park and Yeovil Country Park demanded by the Green Flag Award.”
If you haven’t already discovered these wonderful places why not plan a visit? Embrace nature and nurture your wellbeing. It’s all waiting for you.