Let’s flag it up at ‘Swan Lake’!

Ilkeston Town Centre

The Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Val Custance, will officially raise the Green Flag at Straws Bridge Nature Reserve in West Hallam on Thursday 1 October at 2pm – a celebration to mark the award of the popular site’s first Green Flag.

The Mayor will be joined by members of the Friends of Straws Bridge group for the flag raising ceremony, which confirms the site as one of the best in the country.

The national award, handed out by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, recognises the best parks and green spaces across the country. A Green Flag flying overhead is a sign to visitors that the area boasts the highest possible standards and is well maintained.

The popular beauty spot was declared a Local Nature Reserve by Erewash Borough Council earlier this year along with the nearby Manor Floods area of Ilkeston.

Councillors approved the new status to protect the wildlife habitats and natural features of the sites and to meet the wider commitment to provide ‘green’ environments for everyone to enjoy.

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

“This will be a very proud moment for the council and the Friends volunteers who work with us – to see the prestigious Green Flag flying over Straws Bridge will be wonderful. It is a just reward for the whole range of improvements that we have introduced at the site over the last couple of years by working with the Friends Group members, who have also raised funds to help improve the habitats.

“Straws Bridge is a real wildlife gem and is much loved and extremely popular with residents across our borough. It is a dream site for all those of us who love wildlife – be it in the beauty of the meadow or wetland areas, the plants and animals or the many, many varieties of birds that visit.“

Straws Bridge is owned by the council and features three ponds that are surrounded by woodland, scrub, meadow and wetland. It attracts many varieties of birds but is particularly famous for its swans – leading to its affectionate nickname ‘Swan Lake’.

• Residents can vote for their favourite Green Flag site in the search for the national People’s Choice Award. The three Erewash Green Flag winners – Straws Bridge at West Hallam, Victoria Park and Ilkeston and West Park, Long Eaton are in the running. To vote for any of them visit www.greenflagaward.org – select ‘East Midlands’ from the drop down search then find your top spot and click ‘vote for this site’. Voting closes at noon on 30 September.