Ripley and Somercotes parks among award winners

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FOUR of Amber Valley’s parks have once again, been awarded prestigious Green Flag Awards. Belper Parks, Belper River Gardens, Pennytown Ponds in Somercotes and Crossley Park in Ripley will each receive the Green Flag Award which will be a sign to visitors that the park is well-maintained and well-managed, with excellent facilities.

Belper Parks are celebrating their fourth consecutive award whilst Belper River Gardens gets its second Green Flag in a row. In Somercotes, Pennytown Ponds will raise its second flag for the Nature Reserve, which is surrounded by an industrial estate, and Ripley’s Crossley Park is celebrating its fifth award in a row.

However, there was disappointment for Heanor Memorial Park and Ripley Cemetery which missed out on the awards this year.

Councillor Liz Bowley, Cabinet Member for Green and Thriving Places to Live, said: “We are proud of all our open spaces and the value they bring to local people. A key to the success of those that won awards is community involvement as each of the parks has a Friends group or some kind of community interest group.

“We’re therefore looking for groups of people who are passionate about Ripley Cemetery and Heanor Memorial Park to get in touch with us, and to work with us to strive for Green Flag awards for these spaces in the future.

“It’s commitment, in part, of the groups in Belper, Ripley and Somercotes that has resulted in the these accolades so we believe it’s something that can make a difference in other parks.”

Anyone interested in forming a Friends Group for Heanor Memorial Park or Ripley Cemetery should contact Sharon Thomas on 01773 841570.

Paul Todd, Green Flag Award Scheme Manager, said: “We are thrilled to announce yet another record-breaking year for Green Flag Award parks and green spaces. A Green Flag Award provides national recognition for the achievements of all those whose hard work and dedication has helped to create these fantastic places for all to enjoy.

“I must also thank all this year’s 800+ volunteer judges for their magnificent efforts in assessing an astounding number of applications.”

Information on all winners can be viewed at: www.greenflagaward.org.uk