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Five Green Flags flying high in North Herts

Group of people with a Green Flag in Norton Common nature reserve
Cllr Steve Jarvis (left) with volunteers from the Friends of Norton Common, members of John O'Conner's team and the council's Greenspace Manager

Five greenspaces across North Herts are among the best in the UK! Among a record-breaking 2,216 sites, North Herts Council’s award-winning greenspaces are:

The Green Flag scheme is managed by Keep Britain Tidy and is the international quality mark for parks and greenspaces. Keep Britain Tidy also runs Love Parks Week (28 July-4 August), which encourages communities to enjoy and look after local greenspaces for both people and wildlife.

Councillor Steve Jarvis, Executive Member for Environment and Leisure at North Herts Council, said: “We are so pleased to continue our run of Green Flag Awards, and what better way to celebrate Love Parks Week than with five Green Flag Awards! These parks, nature reserves and gardens, as well as our other greenspaces across the district, play a vital role in residents’ quality of life, providing green havens to relax, exercise and meet others in. They also celebrate our history and help tell the story of our places and communities. Wild areas of greenspace and well-managed nature reserves also help fight climate change by improving biodiversity and habitats and storing carbon. We are so lucky to have these well-kept assets on our doorstep, and it really is thanks to our grounds maintenance contractors John O'Conner and the wonderful volunteers who work so hard on improving them each year.”  

Cllr Mick Debenham, Deputy Executive Member for Environment and Leisure, added: “Parks are sometimes taken for granted but really do play a vital role in our green infrastructure, improving people’s physical and mental health – whether that’s taking the dog for a walk, having a picnic, going for a jog, using recreational facilities or just chilling out – just being in a green environment automatically reduces your heart rate!”

Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive, Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, said: “Our parks continue to provide a vital sanctuary for communities to play, grow and bond. The news that a record number of parks in the UK have achieved the Green Flag Award standard reflects the tireless work of those tasked with looking after these national assets.”

Volunteers working on the new boardwalk at Norton Common
Volunteers working on the new boardwalk at Norton Common

We work closely with Countryside Management Service, John O’Conner Grounds Maintenance – which was shortlisted in this year's Pro Landscaper Business Awards for Grounds Maintenance Company of the Year! – and various volunteer Friends groups to keep the sites well maintained and thriving for people to enjoy.

The Green Flag announcement coincided with the Friends of Norton Common in Letchworth starting work on a boardwalk in the north-east corner of the nature reserve, to improve access through the main meadow. This bit of the path, which runs parallel to Norton Way North, gets very muddy and is difficult to pass in winter. Access may be restricted while work takes place every Thursday to construct the boardwalk.

Please respect our greenspaces and other users - keep dogs under control and clean up after them, and put your rubbish in a litter or recycling bin or take it home.

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