Lightwoods Park in Bearwood and Red House Park in Great Barr yesterday (Tuesday 16 July) became the latest places in Sandwell to be recognised by the prestigious Green Flag Awards.
Ten other parks and green spaces have also kept their award this year, taking Sandwell’s Green Flag total to 12.
The awards, which are the mark of a quality park or green space, were announced by Keep Britain Tidy as part of Love Parks Week (12-21 July).
Sandwell’s sites are among a record-breaking 1,970 UK parks and green spaces – and 131 in 13 other countries around the world – that will today receive a prestigious Green Flag Award or Green Flag Community Award.
This international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.
Sandwell’s list includes a park in each of the six towns, a cemetery and crematorium, as well as Sandwell Valley Country Park and community-run Warley Woods.
Sandwell’s 12 Green Flag sites are:
- Barnford Park, Oldbury
- Brunswick Park, Wednesbury
- Dartmouth Park, West Bromwich
- Haden Hill Park, Cradley Heath – also a Green Heritage Site winner
- Lightwoods Park, Bearwood
- Red House Park, Great Barr
- Sandwell Valley Country Park, West Bromwich
- Sandwell Valley Crematorium, West Bromwich
- Tipton Cemetery
- Victoria Park, Smethwick
- Victoria Park, Tipton
- Warley Woods, Bearwood
Recent improvements at both Lightwoods Park and Red House Park have helped the two sites achieve the Green Flag this year.
Lightwoods House and Park benefited from a restoration project funded by Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund (BIG) under the Parks for People Programme, with support from Sandwell Council. Along with the improvements to the house, the park has a new play area, sports courts, water fountains, pathways and more.
Sandwell Council Leader Councillor Yvonne Davies said: “It’s fantastic news that Sandwell has not only kept its existing 10 Green Flags but added two new ones.
“This is a real tribute to the hard work of everyone involved, including council and Serco staff, Friends groups and community volunteers.
“Parks and green spaces play an important role in one of the council’s main priorities, which is to help people live healthier lifestyles.
“We’re lucky that it’s not just parks that are recognised by these awards but also Sandwell Valley Crematorium and Tipton Cemetery which are important places for people to reflect and think about loved ones.”
Councillor Maria Crompton, cabinet member with responsibility for parks, said: “Everyone who’s played their part should be very proud of this achievement. From play areas and outdoor gym equipment to sports activities and community events, parks are places where people can keep fit and enjoy the open air.”
The Green Flag Awards Scheme is run by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, under licence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, in partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful, Keep Wales Tidy and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.