Six Derby parks have been awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award this week. They include Alvaston Park, Chaddesden Park, Darley Park, Derby Arboretum, Markeaton Park and Sunnydale Park.

Derby also received six Green Flag Community Awards for Chaddesden Wood, Oakwood Local Nature Reserve (LNR), Chellaston Brickworks LNR, Darley and Nutwood LNR, Little Chester Allotments, Markeaton Park Walled Garden and Sinfin Moor Park LNR.

It’s the 21st year of The Green Flag Awards, which recognises and rewards well managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of recreational outdoor spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.

The Six Derby parks are among the 1,797 UK parks and green spaces that will receive a Green Flag Award – the mark of a quality park or green space.

Councillor Amo Raju, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourim, said:

We are absolutely delighted to receive Green Flag Awards for six of our fantastic parks across the city and six community awards again this year. Historically Derby has been at the forefront of providing public parks, our Arboretum was the very first public park to open in Britain in 1840.

These latest awards reinforce that as a city, we are still leading the way by continuing to provide and improve world-class recreational green areas for residents and visitors to enjoy for many years to come.”

Darley Park scored high for being welcoming and well maintained. The new welcome boards funded by DerwentWISE, improvement plans for the park and the exemplary community
interaction and engagement were picked out by the judges. Judges said “Darley Park is an attractive, well-maintained park that DCC should be proud of. The range of community groups and volunteers involved is a real asset to the site that is faring well given the cuts to Local Authority budgets over recent years. Congratulations to all involved.”

Alvaston Park scored well on community involvement. Judges commented on the strong partnership between the Parks service and Alvaston Park Friends, Alvaston Pirate Model Boat Club, Earl of Harrington’s Angling Club. They also remarked on the recent projects including building the Alvaston Park Bug Lodge and Hedgehog Hotels.

Judges felt the key attributes of Chaddesden Park were the nature area and ponds, newly refurbished BMX track and the volunteer led Community Garden. Judges also highlighted the cleanliness of the park. The judges said “Very little evidence of litter or dog fouling, visitors clearly have respect for the park.”

Chaddesden Park

Derby Arboretum scored well on community partnerships. Key mentions include, its historical significance being Britain’s first public park, the diverse events held throughout the year and the communities’ involvement in improvements. Judges said “There is a good partnership of organisations and individuals involved in the management of the site. It is clear that the site provides huge benefit for the community.”

Markeaton Park was judged by mystery shoppers this year. On the last visit, judges said “Markeaton Park is a fantastic destination for the whole of the East Midlands. Its facilities are excellent allowing visitors to stay all day enjoying the children’s play facilities, craft village and terrace, or simply the vast open space. Its programme of outdoor events, theatre and cinema is the icing on the cake.”

Sunnydale Park scored well on community involvement and biodiversity and heritage. Key mentions include, a new nature area management plan, the idyllic pond surrounded by wildflowers, volunteer pond wardens and school educational visits. Judges said “The park is a great credit to the parks team and the community group (Friends of Littleover Parks), providing a valued facility for local people. Improvements to the play area will help to broaden the appeal of the site. Congratulations on providing a very good service in the challenging financial climate”.