Record three Merton parks awarded prestigious Green Flag

For the first time ever, three of Merton’s parks have been awarded the highly sought-after Green Flag. Colliers Wood recreation ground, Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Field and John Innes Park are now all counted amongst the country’s finest parks.

Green Flag Awards recognise and reward the best parks in the country. New award winner Colliers Wood recreation ground stood out, after impressing the judges with its excellent facilities including well managed green space, signage and public amenities.

Merton Council officers who maintain and manage the three parks were presented with their award by TV presenter Michaela Strachan in the presence of 1,500 people at the official Green Flag awards ceremony held at the Pavilion Theatre in Bournemouth last week.

This is a milestone year for the awards as the number of Green Flag and Green Pennant Award winners has passed 1,000 for the first time.

Merton’s success comes at an exciting time in the development of the Green Flag Awards that are now run by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, GreenSpace and the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV), who have been inundated by applications – a clear indication of how much parks value the coveted award.

Merton Council cabinet member for environment and leisure services Councillor David Simpson said: ‘This is wonderful news for Merton. We work hard throughout the year to maintain the high standards of our parks and I am so pleased and proud that this work has paid off for three of them. Our parks are an invaluable asset for those who live and work in Merton and provide wonderful open space for everyone to enjoy. We’re keeping up the good work and aiming even higher for next year.’

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.’

The awards couldn’t come at a better time as GreenSpace’s ‘Love Parks’ week gets underway on 25 July, during which people will be encouraged to enjoy the nation’s beautiful parks and green spaces.