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Medway parks win two Green Flags

Date: 22/07/2008           Category: Greenspaces

The Vines at Rochester and Riverside Country Park in Gillingham have each received a prestigious Green Flag Award. The two Medway Council parks are among a record 742 publicly-accessible green spaces across the country to have received the award this year. “The Green Flag Award is the national standard for quality parks and green spaces and I am delighted that these two Medway open spaces have received this superb accolade,” said Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services Cllr Howard Doe. Open spaces that are awarded a Green Flag have been judged as welcoming and well maintained and to reflect the support and involvement of the local community. “Riverside Country Park offers Medway’s best direct access to the River Medway estuary and its mudflats, reed beds and internationally-significant waterfowl habitat,“ explained Chris Valdus, Countryside Manager, Greenspace Services “It has areas of International and National Nature Conservation importance in the form of the Medway Estuary and Marshes and Medway’s history and industrial heritage are well represented within the park and its immediate surroundings. “The park is a valuable tool for environmental education, conservation and for learning about history, as well as being a strategic link within the green infrastructure of Medway in the way it connects to other green spaces and urban centres via the National Cycle Network, the Saxon Shore Way and other public rights of way. “More than 350,000 visitors per year enjoy the opportunity to experience managed countryside and panoramic views of the Medway estuary in a staffed environment which also includes trails, a café and play area, visitor centre and toilets.” “The Vines is a thriving urban park that plays a key role in the quality of life enjoyed by local people,” explained Ian Fleming, Green Spaces Operations Manager. “Rochester is nationally recognised for its links with Charles Dickens and The Vines hosts activities associated with the popular annual Dickens Festival. The council aims to ensure the essential character of the park is enhanced for the benefit of the local community and is delighted that it has achieved Green Flag accreditation.” Paul Todd, Green Flag Award scheme Application Manager, said: “The increasing number of Green Flag Award winning parks and green spaces highlights the important role they play in bringing people together and improving their quality of life. “Congratulations to all the management, staff, and in particular, thousands of volunteers whose hard work and dedication has brought this award of excellence.” This year’s winners will celebrate their achievements and collect their flags at a major ceremony in Liverpool on Thursday 24th July.