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SWT celebrates Green Flag Award winners

15 October 2020 : Council news, Community

Somerset West and Taunton’s parks and open spaces have been recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme as some of the very best in the country.

This year for the first time Blenheim Gardens in Minehead received a Green Flag Award thanks to the hard work of the Council’s grounds team and local volunteers.

Blenheim Gardens is considered one of the jewel’s in West Somerset’s crown and has been carefully maintained through close working partnerships with SWT’s cleansing contractor idverde and Minehead Town Council.

The flagship six acre park was created in the 1920's and is now a mature and sheltered haven popular with residents and visitors. The park has spring and summer bedding displays, and a wide range of trees, shrubs and perennials which thrive in the mild seaside climate. Blenheim Gardens also boasts a bandstand for summer weekend concerts.

Taunton’s Vivary, Victoria and French Weir Parks have retained their Green Flags along with Swains Lane Nature Reserve in Wellington, which is managed by the Swains Lane Community Group, and Wellington Park which also kept a Green Flag Heritage Award (one of only two in the westcountry). Comeytrowe Park managed by the Friends of Comeytrowe Park retained a Community Green Flag Award.

The seven sites are among a record-breaking 2,000 parks and green spaces across the country that have received prestigious Green Flag Awards this year from the scheme managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Cllr Richard Lees, Executive Member for Sports, Parks and Leisure, said “These awards are a sign to the public that our parks and open spaces boast the highest possible environmental standards, are beautifully maintained and have excellent visitor facilities.

“SWT knows how much green spaces like these matter to our residents and visitors, particularly during the Coronavirus pandemic when people have seen the value of having great quality green spaces on their doorstep.

“We are extremely proud to retain these awards and particularly to achieve Green Flag status for the first time for Blenheim Gardens. The awards are testament to the dedication of our staff and the wonderful volunteers who put so much effort into maintaining our parks and open spaces and I would like to thank everyone who has worked with us to gain this international recognition.”

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “This year, more than ever, our parks and green spaces have been a lifeline and we know that millions of people have used them to relax, meet friends, exercise or simply escape for a short time.

“It is testament to the incredible dedication and hard work of parks staff and volunteers that, despite the challenges that went along with record numbers of visitors, these parks and open spaces have achieved the highest international standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”