Green Flag joy for Essex

CLACTON and Colchester have both been given a tourism boost with the announcement of this year's Green Flag awards. The awards are given to the best parks in the entire country and were announced at a special ceremony in Bournemouth last night.

Roddy Ashworth

CLACTON and Colchester have both been given a tourism boost with the announcement of this year's Green Flag awards.

The awards are given to the best parks in the entire country and were announced at a special ceremony in Bournemouth last night.

Clacton's seafront gardens and the West Greensward were both given a Green Flag - the first for any park or open space in the Tendring district.


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And Colchester picked up three flags - for its cemetery and crematorium, Castle Park and High Woods Country Park.

To win the flag councils had to demonstrate their attractions were a welcoming place for people which the community also were involved in.

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The award is never guaranteed and each year judges look at improvements made in response to their comments from the previous years.

Continuous positive changes have to be shown across a range of judging criteria.

Stephen Mayzes,the Tendring district councillor in charge of leisure, said he welcomed the breakthrough and said he hoped it would spur the area on to win more flags in the future.

He said: “We receive many compliments from residents and visitors - some of whom come back time and again to make the most of the seafront gardens.

“Now the site has been recognized nationally. This is a tremendous accolade and one of which we are all very proud.”

And Martin Hunt, the Colchester councillor in charge of leisure, said: “This award is fantastic news and an accolade to our dedicated parks staff, friends groups and volunteer rangers who have worked hard to maintain these vital green spaces. Without them, achieving the high standards necessary to gain the awards would be very difficult.”

It was the first Green Flag Award for the cemetery which was one of only a handful across the country to receive the award.

Tim Young, responsible for street and waste services, added: “The award to the Colchester Cemetery and Crematorium is recognition of the high quality of management and maintenance of the grounds.

“The grounds provide an exceptional setting and we welcome all residents and visitors to come and enjoy the peace and tranquility of this special place.”

Phil Barton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: “I would like to congratulate this year's winners, who have worked hard throughout the year to keep their parks to a high standard and ensure they are pleasant and enjoyable spaces for the whole community.”

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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