Published: Wednesday, 14th October 2020

Eight of Medway’s much-loved parks have been recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme as among the best in the United Kingdom and around the world.

This is the first year that Ranscombe Farm Reserve in Cuxton, which is managed by Plantlife, has received the accreditation.

Riverside Country Park in Rainham, Capstone Farm Country Park in Gillingham, Great Lines Heritage Park in Gillingham, The Vines in Rochester, Broomhill Park in Strood , Hillyfields Community Park in Gillingham and Gillingham Park have also all been recognised by the Green Flag Award scheme this year.

The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for their management across the United Kingdom and around the world.

Medway’s parks and greenspaces are part of more than 2,000 sites across the country to collect the award for 2020.

Each of Medway’s eight award winning parks have something different to offer residents and visitors, from lakes, military history, woodlands, views of the River Medway and much more. Medway’s parks and countryside are maintained all year round to make sure that residents can enjoy them throughout the year.

Ranscombe Farm Reserve is an historic landscape famous for its rare wild flowers including prickly poppy, night flowering catchfly and blue pimpernel. Whether it be enjoying carpets of bluebells in the spring, summer picnics in a sun-filled glade, or autumn walks in misty woodland, Ranscombe offers it all. The reserve includes arable landscapes, extensive ancient woodland and fragments of chalk grassland. A large part is within the Cobham Woods Site of Special Scientific Interest, and the whole farm is within the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The reserve is also famous for its arable flora and In the absence of herbicides and fertilizers, these plants are given the chance to thrive in the light, cultivated soils; two of the fields are believed to be the most important site in Britain for annual arable plants.

Thank you to our volunteers, Plantlife and contractors who work tirelessly to maintain our parks to such a high standard

Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services Cllr Howard Doe said: “We are very pleased that Ranscombe Farm Reserve has been recognised as one of the best parks in the country, and that seven of our other parks have been recognised for another year. A Green Flag award is a sign to our residents and visitors that the greenspace upholds the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities. I would like to thank our volunteers, Plantlife and contractors Medway Norse who all work tirelessly to maintain the parks to such a high standard.”

Wonderful recognition for all the hard work by volunteers and staff

Richard Moyse, Plantlife’s Ranscombe Farm Reserve Manager, said: “The Green Flag Award for Ranscombe Farm Reserve is wonderful recognition for all the hard work put in by the team of volunteers and staff at Ranscombe, as well as the support we have received from our tenant farmer and other partners. It is this, and the generous support of Plantlife’s members and funders, which have made it possible for Plantlife to create a site which the judges described as 'impressive, with spectacular views and many rare species' and managed 'with great consideration for the environment'."

Achieved the highest international standards in eight parks 

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “This year, more than ever, our parks and green spaces have been a lifeline and we know that millions of people have used them to relax, meet friends, exercise or simply escape for a short time. It is testament to the incredible dedication and hard work of parks staff and volunteers that, despite the challenges that went along with record numbers of visitors, Medway Council has achieved the highest international standards in eight of its parks demanded by the Green Flag Award.”

Find out more about Medway’s award-winning parks and greenspaces

News archive