TWO of Reading’s most popular open spaces have been recognised as among the best in the country after receiving Green Flag and Green Heritage Site awards.
Once again, Forbury Gardens and Caversham Court Gardens have both received Green Heritage Site awards, which is awarded for parks which have conserved their historical features to a high standard and maintain their historic character and appearance. Green Heritage Site awards are made to sites that have particular local or national historic interest.
To be recognised with a Green Flag award, parks or open spaces have to demonstrate not only that standard is maintained but that continuous improvements are being achieved.
Cllr Sarah Hacker, Lead Member for Culture, Sport and Consumer Services, said:
“I am delighted that yet again, two of our most popular open spaces have been recognised by Green Flag. It is a clear reflection of the hard work put in by both the Council and from voluntary organisations throughout the year to keep these parks in such good condition.
I would like to extend my congratulations to all of those involved in the maintenance of these open spaces for their achievement.”
The Green Flag is recognition of excellence in six important areas: high-quality horticulture, cleanliness, sustainable practices, being welcoming, being safe, and encouraging community involvement.
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Notes to Editors
Forbury Gardens was reopened in 2005, after a year’s closure and a makeover of £3.4m. The popular town centre gardens are considered a particular success by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and have been used by the Green Flag Award Scheme for training Green Flag judges. Caversham Court was closed for nine months in 2008-09, and its main features were restored at a cost of £1.6m. Both restoration projects were supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Caversham Court is one of Reading’s most popular and picturesque gardens, enjoyed by thousands of people all year round. Many residents give their time every week and help out at the gardens. On Thursdays, volunteers work with William Paice, Caversham Court’s head gardener, to help keep the gardens’ beautiful borders and landscape tidy and attractive. The Friends of Caversham Court organise guided tours on the first Sunday of the month and host a welcoming tent when events take place. They are also represented on Caversham Court’s Management Committee. Volunteers from five charities – the Ways and Means Trust, local branches of the Women’s Institute, the League of Friends of the Royal Berkshire Hospital, the Duchess of Kent Hospice/Sue Ryder, and Compass (Green Café) – give their time every afternoon to provide refreshments in Caversham Court’s tea kiosk. They also open the kiosk during special events.
For more information about the awards, please go to: www.greenflagaward.org.uk/