Rushmere Park in Heath and Reach earns Green Flag Award

Number of other sites in the area also received recognition

The Greensand Trust is raising a Green Flag Award for the second year in succession at Rushmere Country Park in Heath and Reach.

The award, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, is the international quality mark for parks and green spaces and Rushmere is one of a number of sites in the area to earn the accolade.

After 18 months that have seen parks and green spaces play a vital role for people through lockdowns as a place to relax, exercise and meet friends and family safely, the Trust says the award is testament to the hard work and dedication of the small charity team that make Rushmere a great location that everyone can enjoy.

Volunteers at Rushmere Park

Greensand Trust chief executive Gill Welham said: “We are delighted to see the hard work of our staff and volunteers recognised in this way given the increased pressure the site came under during the pandemic and the enormous challenges this created for the team. The park was available for local people to enjoy throughout, providing exercise and outdoor recreational opportunities during lockdown and this award is a real credit to the Rushmere team.”

Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making Rushmere Country Park worthy of a Green Flag Award.

“To meet the requirements demanded by the scheme is testament to the hard work of the staff and volunteers who do so much to ensure that Rushmere Country Park has high standards of horticulture, safety and environmental management and is a place that supports people to live healthy lives.”

Meanwhile, five other open spaces also owned by Central Bedfordshire Council have been recognised too. A full Green Flag Award has gone to Houghton Hall Park and Studham Common, while Green Flag Community Awards have been handed to Linslade Wood; Tiddenfoot Waterside Park; and Flitton Moor.

Councillor Tracey Stock, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing and Communities at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “It’s amazing news that six of our public spaces have been nationally recognised in the Green Flags Award scheme, especially when our parks and open spaces have been a lifeline to residents during the pandemic, providing a place to relax, meet friends, exercise or simply escape.”

“The green flags flying across Central Bedfordshire are a testament to the efforts of both the staff and volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Awards.”

A further five Leighton-Linslade Town Council locations have also won a Green Flag. They are Linslade Memorial Playing Fields and Garden of Remembrance, Linslade Recreation Ground, Pages Park, Parson's Close Recreation Ground and Vandyke Road Cemetery.