Stonefield Park in Stone has won the prestigious Green Flag award for the second time, along with two other Stafford Borough Council venues.
The Green Flag awards – given to the best open spaces in the country – were also scooped by Victoria Park in Stafford for the 11th consecutive year, and Stafford Crematorium, on the town’s Tixall Road, has made it six Green Flags in a row.
Around 1,800 parks and green spaces received a prestigious Green Flag Award. The success is recognition of the well-kept grounds and floral displays at the borough council-run sites.
Stonefield Park, located in the heart of Stone, was opened by Sir Ernest Johnson on the 24 March 1928, containing formal flowerbeds, a bandstand, two tennis courts and a bowling green. With the exception of the bandstand these features still remain today. The park also benefits from a ‘Friends’ group, set up by the Borough Council, who have helped get it in prime condition.
The River Sow runs through the centre of Victoria Park, which boasts a hugely popular play area, bowling green and aviary amongst other attractions. It has a dedicated ‘Friends’ group who raise awareness of this key heritage site and organise events to promote the area. And it was recently announced a £2.5 million restoration, backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, will get under way in the new year.
The Green Flag Award scheme, run by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country – displaying the highest possible standards with excellent facilities.
Councillor Mike Smith, Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “We know how well the grounds of our parks and cemetery are kept because our residents and visitors tell us – and they are our most important judges. But it is always pleasing to also get national recognition for the work that we do – and a tremendous achievement that the crematorium, Victoria Park and Stonefield Park have once again been successful.”
International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme. Each flag is a celebration of the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. The success of the scheme, especially in these challenging times, demonstrates just how much parks matter to people.”