Seven-up for District Council's top-rated Hall Leys Park

It's seven-up for the District Council's Hall Leys Park in Matlock, which this week confirmed its status as one of the very best in the UK.

Parks workers Andy O'Brien (left) and John Collick show off the 2014-15 Green Flag with parks and street scene officer Helen CarringtonOn Monday (28 July) our superb town centre park received its seventh consecutive prestigious Green Flag Award.

Handed out by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, the national award recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country.

Chairman of Derbyshire Dales District Council's Community Committee, Councillor Jennifer Bower said:

"Financially, these are challenging times for local government and we are immensely proud to record a seventh consecutive national award that recognises the brilliant work carried out in more than 30 parks and gardens by our parks and streets teams.

"Hall Leys Park really is the jewel in Matlock's crown and we know from listening to local people that keeping the Dales clean and green is a priority. That's why this latest Green Flag is a tribute to the terrific work that goes on daily, not just in Matlock, but in all our beautiful parks and gardens throughout the Derbyshire Dales.

"Economic prosperity is a welcome spin-off of this work, which helps to attract around 7 million visitors a year who spend approaching £300 million in the Dales."

A Green Flag flying overhead is a sign to visitors that the space boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.

Hall Leys - featuring beautiful riverside walks, a bowling green, boating lake, children's interactive play area, miniature railway, putting green, skateboard park and tennis courts - is among a record-breaking number of more than 1,470 parks and green spaces across the UK flying the Green Flag Award this year.

Hall Leys Park with Riber in the backgroundThe Green Flag Awards are judged by an army of more than 700 volunteer experts who visit applicant sites and assess them against eight strict criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement.

The announcement of this year's Award-winners comes in the same week that thousands of people up and down the country are celebrating our country's fantastic parks and green spaces with Love Parks Week, which runs from July 25 to August 3.

International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said:

"It's another record-breaking year for the scheme. This is something well worth celebrating and testament to the efforts of the thousands of men and women, supported by some amazing volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.

"The parks sector is facing some tough challenges so it is heartening to see that they are committed to maintaining and improving standards.

"We know how passionate people are about our parks and green spaces and the recent Heritage Lottery Fund report, State of UK Public Parks, highlighted the need for everyone to work together to ensure they are maintained for future generations."

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