Three Eastbourne parks win ‘coveted’ award

Three parks in Eastbourne have received a ‘coveted’ award from an environmental charity.

Hampden Park, Old Town Recreation Park and Princes Park were given the ‘green flag’ award, which recognises well-managed green spaces, by Keep Britain Tidy.

An Eastbourne Borough Council spokesperson said, “The awards to the three much-loved and hugely popular Eastbourne parks follow 18 months that have seen parks become lockdown lifelines.

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“They have played a vital role for people across the country as places to breathe, relax, exercise and meet friends and family safely.”

Friends of Old Town Recreation Park celebrating the 'green flag' award. Picture from Eastbourne Borough Council SUS-210211-145510001

Councillor Colin Swansborough, cabinet member for place, services and special projects, said, “Our parks took on a vital role during the covid outbreaks.

“And even though we had to reduce some of the routine maintenance, they remained in good condition throughout the year.

“The parks provide a great escape for a huge number of people, both residents and holiday-makers.

“I am delighted to accept the ‘green flag’ award on behalf of the dedicated team of gardeners and ground staff who work hard to make sure our parks are beautiful places to visit.”

More than 2,000 parks and green spaces across the UK received the ‘green flag’ award this year.

According to the council, research carried out by YouGov for Keep Britain Tidy found that access to a quality green space helped improve people’s mental health with 59 per cent of people saying they felt less stressed when using the park and 55 per cent saying they felt more positive in general.

The council spokesperson said the survey also showed that 53 per cent of people visit a green space at least once a week and 93 per cent of people think that parks are important to their local community.

Speaking about the announcement of this year’s winners, Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said, “We are delighted to be the custodian of a scheme that does so much to ensure our parks and green spaces go from strength to strength.

“At a time when parks have been at the heart of every community across the country it is perhaps not surprising that 95 per cent of the public thinks that their local parks and green spaces need to be protected.

“This is why the ‘green flag’ award is so important. It ensures that parks and green spaces are managed to the highest standards and are safe and accessible for everyone to enjoy.”