Council flags up its hat-trick!

Erewash has been awarded the coveted Green Flag status at three popular local beauty spots, a hat-trick first for the borough.

The celebration news sees Long Eaton’s flagship West Park and Wrest Hallam’s Straw’s Bridge Local Nature Reserve being given the prestigious award for the first time – while Victoria Park at Ilkeston has secured the honour for the fifth successive year.

Erewash Borough Council confirmed the prestigious awards today (23 July), news that confirms the three sites are among the best in the country.

The Green Flag award is the benchmark national standard for England and Wales and is presented to high quality parks, green spaces and nature reserves that have excellent facilities and are well-maintained and well-managed.

Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:

“What a hat trick! This is a tremendous achievement and we know local people will share our delight that these three sites – which are real jewels in the crown of our borough – have been awarded this celebrated honour.

“Being awarded these three Green Flags is a testament to the hard work of our dedicated team who work year-round to manage these sites. But we also send out a big thank you to the volunteers and Friends Group members of the three sites who are committed to helping us maintain the popular sites and play such a big part in making them such beautiful places to visit.”

West Park is the largest in Erewash at 127 acres and dates back to the early 1900s. It is enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year and has seen substantial investment over the last five years. It offers an extensive range of sports and recreational facilities including an outdoor gym trail, a skatepark, a splashpad water park, bowls, tennis and football and cricket.

Straw’s Bridge was awarded Local Nature Reserve status by the council earlier this year and features three ponds that are surrounded by woodland, scrub, meadow and wetland – while it is also connected to the Nutbrook Trail. It attracts many types of birds but is particularly famous for its swans – leading to its affectionate nickname ‘Swan Lake’.

Victoria Park dates by to 1896 and has now been awarded the Green Flag five times. It is currently being further developed to restore key Victorian features after the council won a £740,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.