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Hillyfields Community Park
The history of Hillyfields
The site is a large informal open space with some remnant
orchard located in the densely populated Medway Ward close to the
centre of Gillingham.
It was in the ownership of Kent County Council and used
informally as a playing field by Hillyfields Junior School until
the establishment of Medway Council. It was then transferred to
Medway Council in 1999.
The site had never been developed as a park and as it lacked any
infrastructure such as paths, lighting, seating, amenity and
structural planting. The site is used for informal recreation by
the local community.
Hillyfields Community Park has had extensive
infrastructure improvements to make the park safe and accessible to
all. The new play area, opened in December 2008, has a unique
design, which incorporates natural play and risk elements. The old
orchard on site is now in the early stages of community project.
Through partnership working and consultation between Medway
Council, Friends of Hillyfields, Groundwork, local residents and
local schools, Hillyfields Community Park has become a much valued
asset in the Gillingham area.
Friends of Hillyfields
The first meeting for the Friends of Hillyfields was in November
2005. The Friends of Hillyfields have worked in partnership with
Medway Council to improve the site with:
- interpretation panels;
- work within the orchard;
- a new play area;
- a teen shelter;
- boundary planting to make the park more welcoming.
Medway Design and Culture Awards
In 2010 Hillyfields received a Medway
Design and Culture Award. The Medway Culture and Design Awards
are a signature event in Medway's cultural countdown to 2012. Run
by Medway Council and Medway Renaissance, the awards celebrate the
thriving cultural sector in the area and the importance of quality
and diversity in building and landscape design.
Green Flag Award
In 2009, 2010 and 2011 Hillyfields received a Green
Flag Award. The Green Flag Award Scheme is a nationally
recognised standard for parks. It sets out eight key criteria, which
should be met to enable better management of parks and open spaces.
Local Authorities apply for this award and produce a management
plan. If a site is deemed to meet the eight criteria then a
Green Flag is awarded. This must be done annually to maintain the
Green Flag, as continual auditing and improvement is the key to
successful management of parks.
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