Parks boss ‘really proud’ as Hackney celebrates 29 Green Flag awards

Hackney’s parks staff celebrate the awards. Photograph: Gary Manhine / Hackney Council

Twenty-nine of Hackney’s parks are now rated among the best in the UK – after the latest bestowal of Green Flag awards.

The annual awards, run by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, recognise high standards of maintenance, biodiversity, community involvement and management of green spaces.

A Green Flag is the international standard for well-run and accessible parks.

Abney Park, currently undergoing a major refurbishment, is the latest local spot to receive the prestigious accolade.

Hackney Council’s parks chief Cllr Caroline Woodley said: “I’m really proud that the latest Green Flag Awards recognise that in Hackney we have some of the highest quality parks in London, and that’s all thanks to our dedicated staff, volunteers and park user groups who help us to keep our parks maintained to such a high standard.

“We want the very best parks for our residents – many of whom don’t have green space of their own – so we’re committed to making sure they’re beautiful, biodiverse, accessible and have lots of facilities for all of our residents to enjoy.”

The council has committed to investing in parks and green spaces.

A £2m upgrade to Shoreditch Park was completed earlier this year, and Abney Park’s restoration is nearing completion.

An overhaul of Charles Square and Fairchild’s Gardens is set to get underway, and plans to create a child-friendly borough have seen a number of playgrounds revamped, with more changes in the works.

Hackney’s Green Flags are just some of the record 2,216 handed out this year.

Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “Our parks continue to provide a vital sanctuary for communities to play, grow and bond.

“The news that a record number of parks in the UK have achieved the Green Flag Award standard reflects the tireless work of those tasked with looking after these national assets.

“At Keep Britain Tidy, we’re very proud of the Green Flag Award – a crucial component in ensuring the continuing quality of our parks and green spaces, making sure they are managed to the highest standards and are safe and accessible.

“We believe it should be a minimum standard for every park – and that everyone, wherever they live, should have access to high-quality green space.

“Parks play a key role in the health and wellbeing of the nation not only in the physical and mental health of us all, but also in the environmental health of the planet.

“Congratulations to all this year’s winners.”

The full list of Hackney’s 29 Green Flag parks features: Abney Park Cemetery, N16; Albion Square, E8; Aske Gardens, N1; Broadway Market Green, E8; Butterfield Green, N16; Clapton Pond, E5; Clapton Square, E5; Clissold Park, N16; De Beauvoir Square, N1; Hackney Downs, E5; Hackney Marshes, E9; Haggerston Park, E2; Hoxton Square, N1; Kit Crowley Gardens, E9; Kynaston Gardens, N16; London Fields, E8; Mabley Green, E9; Mark Street Gardens, EC2; Millfields Park, E5; Rowley Gardens, N4; Shore Gardens, E9; Shoreditch Park, N1; Springfield Park, E5; St John’s Churchyard, E5; St Thomas’s Square Gardens, E9; Stonebridge Gardens (Snake Park), E8; Well Street Common, E9; West Hackney Recreation Ground, N16; and Woodberry Down Park, N4.