Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy has again awarded prestigious ‘Green Flag Awards’ to Belfairs, Chalkwell, Priory, Shoebury and Southchurch Parks, ranking them among the best 137 parks and green spaces in the East of England.
The Green Flag Award® scheme is the benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces in the UK. It was first launched in 1996 to recognise and reward the best green spaces in the country.
Together they join a record-breaking list of 1,686 other parks, cemeteries, universities, shopping centres and community gardens in Britain which have all met the high standard needed to achieve the Green Flag Award or the Green Flag Community Award.
These were judged by more than 700 green space experts, who visited the sites and assessed them against eight strict criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement.
Executive Councillor for Culture, Tourism & The Economy, Cllr Ann Holland, said: “This is brilliant news for the Borough and testifies to the fantastic work the our parks team puts in every day into maintaining our beautiful parks and green spaces.
“As well as their trees and attractive planting, our parks host an array of other attractions ranging from the Bandstand in Priory Park with free musical performances, major events such as Village Green in Chalkwell Park, to tennis courts, sports grounds, children’s play areas and outdoor gyms.”
Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: "We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme, especially as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Awards.
"All the flags flying this year are a testament to the efforts of the thousands of men and women, both staff and volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award."
Earlier this year, it was announced that three Southend beaches had been awarded Blue Flags, with all seven awarded the coveted “Seaside Award”.