Surrey Heath Borough Council is celebrating after receiving a Green Flag Award for both Frimley Lodge Park and Lightwater Country Park.
The award, won by more than 2,200 UK locations this year, is the international quality mark for parks and green spaces.
This year marks 22 consecutive years of Green Flag awards for Frimley Lodge – a brilliant achievement – while Lightwater Country Park is celebrating its fourth award.
After two years that have seen our 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 news that two of our premier parks have achieved the Green Flag Award is testament to the hard work and dedication of the team that make those green spaces great spaces that everyone can enjoy.
Frimley Lodge Park attracts a large number of visitors with its beautiful open spaces, picnic areas, pitch and putt course and children's playground; as well as a miniature railway, barbecue and private hire areas.
Other attractions include a 3G all-weather football pitch, traditional football and cricket pitches, and a café.
Lightwater Country Park is predominantly heathland habitat, but there are also ponds, woodland, meadows and areas of scrub. These habitats offer the opportunity to observe a wide variety of wildlife, birds, mammals, plants and insects.
The area of heathland within the Country Park has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), so is an area of high nature conservation value.
The park also offers a café, children’s playground, information points, educational service, walking trails, grazing livestock, bee hive, fishing, plus a leisure centre with associated playing fields and sports facilities. New additions to the park in the past year include an adventure golf attraction, and a ‘Bench of Hope’, in conjunction with the Ricky Gervais Netflix series After Life and mental health charity CALM.
Both parks have been beacons of green space for local people throughout the pandemic, allowing residents to enjoy the great outdoors and the benefits to mental and physical health that parks offer.
Surrey Heath Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Community Cllr Rebecca Jennings-Evans said: “We are again delighted that two SHBC-managed parks have achieved Green Flags this year.
“These awards are recognition of the huge amounts of hard work and dedication of all the staff involved. Many congratulations to the teams involved.
"These awards are further evidence of our commitment to offering high quality parks and open spaces for local people to enjoy, as we appreciate the importance of the great outdoors to our physical and mental health.”
Commenting on the news that Frimley Lodge and Lightwater Country Park have met the Green Flag Award standard, Keep Britain Tidy’s Accreditation Manager Paul Todd said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making these sites worthy of a Green Flag Award.
“They are vital green spaces for the community in Surrey Heath. This award is testament to all the hard work of staff and volunteers, who do so much to ensure that it maintains the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”
The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of green spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.