Hyndburn now hosts the highest number of green flag sites for any borough in Lancashire. This news comes as ten green spaces have now been awarded the prestigious green flag, which can be seen flying proudly at each location for 2022/23.
Previously Hyndburn set the record in Lancashire with nine locations, and have this year added their tenth, with Milnshaw Park being added to the ever-expanding list of recognised parks.
The international award-winning parks in Hyndburn are: Milnshaw Park, Oakhill Park, Peel Park, Rhyddings Park Gatty Park, Cutwood Park, Lowerfold Park, Mercer Park, Wilsons & Woodlands and Accrington Cemetery & Crematorium.
Cllr Steven Smithson, cabinet member for environment at Hyndburn Council said:
“This is a tremendous achievement and highlights the fantastic work of the parks team and all the volunteer groups throughout Hyndburn who have made this possible. On behalf of residents, I would like to say congratulations and give thanks for maintaining all these award-winning green spaces.”
To gain the award parks undergo visits from judges and are put through a rigorous application process The Judging criteria includes scoring of the park’s horticultural, arboricultural and equipment maintenance, safety and security features, accessibility, welcome, biodiversity, community involvement and marketing.
Hyndburn Green Spaces Forum and Hyndburn Butterfly Project have both been instrumental in the development of Milnshaw Park and their efforts have led to securing this prestigious award.
Established in 2005, the not-for-profit community group, Hyndburn Green Spaces Forum, are an umbrella organisation supporting various voluntary-led groups throughout the borough. The group has secured over £8million of funding for Hyndburn over the years and their extensive work saw them honoured with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary services.
Cath Holmes, Hyndburn Green Spaces Forum, said:
“The work on Milnshaw Park started almost a decade ago, spurred on by local teenagers who took to social media to highlight the lack of facilities in the area. Since then, hundreds of people have been involved in shaping what we see here today. From sporting courts, exercise machines, a state-of-the-art pump track and a new children’s playground, this park is a brilliant space for everyone to enjoy. I am incredibly proud to have been part of this, working alongside various groups and the parks team at Hyndburn Council.
“I would like to credit to Cllr Paul Cox, previous portfolio holder who has been heavily involved throughout and also thank the Green Flag Judge, Lillian, who was so lovely giving up her time to visit Hyndburn to carry out judging duties. It was a big team effort! Hyndburn Green Spaces Forum will keep championing development of free, good quality open spaces for the community to enjoy which help improve wellbeing and social health for our area.”
Hyndburn Butterfly Project is volunteer-led and their activity includes planting flowers, shrubs and trees that are butterfly friendly in the Hyndburn area. In 2018 the group started work on a wildflower meadow in Milnshaw Park in an effort to help local wildlife in the area, particularly urban pollinators whose populations are in decline.
Gemma McMullan, Hyndburn Butterfly Project, said:
“The meadow in Milnshaw Park features a range of native wildflowers and grasses, which have so far attracted 17 different butterfly species plus other wildlife including damselflies, dragonflies, moths, ladybirds, shieldbugs and crickets. The meadow has been a great boost for biodiversity in the park and we’ve had some really positive feedback from both children and adults. I’m pleased this park is being internationally recognised with an award alongside the other 9 parks in Hyndburn.”
Cllr Miles Parkinson OBE, Leader of the Council said:
“It is fantastic to see our parks being recognised by this national award. Our green spaces support people to live healthy lives and improve their physical and mental wellbeing. To hear the news of so many of our parks being awarded green flags for having such high standards is wonderful and something we can all be proud of. I would also like to recognise the work of previous cabinet member, Cllr Paul Cox, for his efforts over many years to transform Milnshaw Park and other green spaces in our borough.”
Want to find your closest green space to enjoy? Hyndburn Borough Council have an online park’s postcode tool to help: https://www.hyndburnbc.gov.uk/parks/