Top environmental honour for safe and clean West Park

FLYING THE FLAG -- the Deputy Mayor of Erewash, Coun Mary Hopkinson, raises the Green Flag at West Park, along with fellow councillors, gardening staff and representatives of the West Park Friends group.

FLYING THE FLAG -- the Deputy Mayor of Erewash, Coun Mary Hopkinson, raises the Green Flag at West Park, along with fellow councillors, gardening staff and representatives of the West Park Friends group.

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A prestigious Green Flag, the nationally recognised symbol of a safe and clean environment, has been raised again at West Park in Long Eaton.

It is the second consecutive year the park has achieved the top honour, confirming it as one of the best in the country.

The national award, handed out by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, salutes the most attractive and most visitor-friendly parks and green spaces across the UK.

The flag was raised by the Deputy Mayor of Erewash, Coun Mary Hopkinson, near the park entrance, off Wilsthorpe Road. She was joined by fellow councillors, gardening staff and representatives of the West Park Friends group. Also there was Stuart Peel, 67, a member of the parks team, who enjoyed the ceremony to mark his 50th anniversary of working for Erewash Borough Council.

Coun Mike Wallis, the council’s lead member for culture and leisure, said: “I know local residents share our pride at seeing the Green Flag flying over this much-loved park. The award is testament to the year-round hard work that goes into ensuring the park is properly maintained. I congratulate everyone involved.

“We were pleased that many residents, visitors and staff were able to join us for the flag-raising ceremony and share in the success of Green Flag status.”

West Park, which dates back to the early 1900s, is the largest park in Erewash borough and covers 127 acres. It boasts an extensive range of sports and recreational facilities, which cater for field sports, such as football and cricket, plus tennis and bowls. It also has an outdoor gym, skatepark and splashpad, and is enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year.

Over the last five years, significant improvements have been made to the park, including new signage, improved play facilities for children and an extensive tree-planting scheme. Many visitors commented during the summer that they have rarely seen the park looking so delightful.