Itchen Valley Country Park is among the best open spaces in the country – and that’s official.
The park, which is operated by Eastleigh Borough Council, is celebrating receiving an eleventh annual Green Flag award, beginning a second decade of success in the scheme, which is a nationally recognised mark of quality. The award is run by the Keep Britain Tidy charity: a green flag flying from a pole is a sign to visitors that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities. A record 1,970 UK parks and green spaces across the UK will be flying the green flag this year.
Itchen Valley Country Park is 440-acres of water meadows, woodland and meadows offering a wealth of waymarked trails. A new café, indoor play area and revamped outdoor play trail opened last year and are proving very popular; it also offers picnic tables and barbecue sites, making it a perfect destination for a family day out. The Go Ape treetops adventure is also based in the park.
Chair of the Hedge End, West End & Botley Local Area Committee (HEWEB), Councillor Cynthia Garton, said: “We are extremely proud of our country parks and this latest Green Flag award reflects the skill and dedication of our Countryside team in maintaining this beautiful space. Itchen Valley Country Park is hugely important to promoting biodiversity in the Borough - and it gives residents and visitors a chance to enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits that a well-managed woodland and meadowland environment can bring.”
International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “It’s fantastic that we have more Green Flag Awards in the UK than ever before, joined this year by 131 International winners. Each flag honours the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. We congratulate each and every winner on their fantastic achievement.”
Find out more about Itchen Valley Country Park at: www.eastleigh.gov.uk/ivcp
Photo: Chair of HEWEB Councillor Cynthia Garton with local councillors and staff with the Green Flag at Itchen Valley Country Park