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Borough parks keep the green flag flying through pandemic

News release 9803, published on 15 Oct 2020
Basingstoke and Deane is flying the Green Flag again this year following the announcement that two of the borough’s parks have retained their status among the very best green spaces in the UK.
Basingstoke’s popular Eastrop and War Memorial parks provided local people with somewhere to escape and relax during the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in lockdown. The Green Flag awards were given in recognition that both parks have the highest possible environmental standards, are beautifully maintained, clean and safe, and have excellent facilities for visitors.
Eastrop Park has held Green Flag status for the past 21 years, while War Memorial Park has received the same award for 13 years.
All the previous year’s award holders retained their awards due to judging restrictions in the pandemic and the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy presented a record number this year to more than 2,000 parks and green spaces in Britain.
Cabinet Member for Planning, Infrastructure and Natural Environment Cllr Mark Ruffell said: “I am delighted that two of the most popular parks in the borough continue to be recognised as among the best in the country, particularly during this very difficult year when everything has been affected by the pandemic.
“Although some park facilities, such as play areas and tennis courts, were closed due to government safety restrictions during lockdown, the parks provided a green sanctuary for local people of all ages to take their exercise among landscaped open spaces, colourful flowerbeds and woodland walks.
“Quality green spaces matter to residents and visitors, and are so important for wellbeing. These awards celebrate the dedication that goes into maintaining them by our team at the council.”
Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “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, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has achieved the highest international standards at War Memorial and Eastrop parks demanded by the Green Flag Award.”
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