Lakeside Country Park in Eastleigh has scooped its second Green Flag in the Keep Britain Tidy charity’s awards scheme. The award is a mark of quality, reflecting excellent facilities and high standards of maintenance.
Since 2016, improvements to the Eastleigh Borough Council-operated park – which was created on restored gravel works - have include the opening of an award-winning community building for users of the lakes and wider park, and the creation of new trails, designed in partnership with the community.
Lakeside Country Park is 22 hectares of lakes, wet meadow and woodland that, in addition to hosting a number of clubs and on-water activities, offers walks, picnic sites and guided trails. The park provides habitat to a diverse array of wildlife - including deer, foxes and species of bat - and is popular with local anglers. It is also home to the Eastleigh Lakeside Steam Railway.
Lakeside Country Park’s sister location, Itchen Valley Country Park in West End was also announced as a Green Flag award winner this week.
Councillor Tonia Craig, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Social Policy said: “This is a very well-deserved award for Lakeside Country Park. Winning a Green Flag for a second year reflects the hard work of the team in maintaining it to such a high standard. Our country parks have played a huge role in promoting residents’ wellbeing over two very difficult years and a Green Flag provides assurance that it is a well-managed open space.”
Keep Britain Tidy say that the value of free to access parks and green spaces has never been more important, with parks continuing to provide a sanctuary for communities to engage with nature, improve their physical and mental health, play and come together. That’s why it’s important that parks are managed to the Green Flag Award standard, which recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces.
The announcement comes as new research carried out by YouGov for Keep Britain Tidy revealed:
- 84% of dog walkers in Great Britain said going to the park made them more relaxed, while 86% said it made them happier.
- 88% of parents of children aged four to 11 said going to the park makes their child happier, and 65% said it made their child calmer.
- 22% of parents said a park that feels safe was the main thing they looked for when choosing where to visit
- 61% of parents said the reason they took their child or children to the park is because it is free.
Find out more about the two Country Parks at: www.eastleigh.gov.uk/country-parks-and-open-spaces