Green Flags given to beauty spots across New Forest and Christchurch
BEAUTY spots across the New Forest and Christchurch celebrated being honoured with Green Flags, putting them among the best looked after in the world.
Lepe Country Park was among those given the accolade, alongside Christchurch locations at the quay, Roeshot Hill allotments, and BCP Council-managed sites Tuckton Tea Gardens and Riverlands and Hengistbury Head.
Cllr Edward Heron, cabinet member for recreation, heritage and local affairs at Hampshire County Council, which owns Lepe Country Park, said he was "absolutely thrilled".
"Green Flags are a clear signal to the public that these sites meet the highest possible environmental standards, are beautifully maintained and have top-notch visitor facilities," he said.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has really underlined the value of outdoor space to mental wellbeing, health and fitness and we’ve seen record numbers of visitors to our country parks over this time."
Lepe is managed by Staunton and Royal Victoria, which also scooped Green Heritage Accreditation. Cllr Heron added: "It’s also fantastic that Staunton and Royal Victoria have been recognised for their work to conserve the heritage of these special sites."
The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, recognises well-managed parks and green spaces in the UK and around the world.
David Keeton, from the Roeshot Hill Allotment Association, said: "It is quite a special year for Roeshot Hill Allotments as we have now held the award of 10 consecutive years and is quite an achievement for us.
"It has been a challenging year nationally due to the pandemic. However, our allotment space has been a sanctuary for many allotment holders during this difficult and challenging time."
Cllr Mark Anderson, BCP Council's cabinet member for environment, cleansing and waste, responded: "This is fantastic news for both residents and visitors, as parks and open spaces have been such a lifeline to everyone during a difficult 18 months.
"As a council, we recognise that our green spaces are vital to our everyday health and wellbeing, and we are committed to protecting and enhancing our outstanding natural environment and preserving it for generations to come."