ODS secures Green Flag status for six parks

Oxford Direct Services (ODS) has secured another year of Green Flag status for all six currently accredited parks and open spaces it looks after on behalf of Oxford City Council.

The awards, which recognise the best green spaces throughout the country, have been given to Blackbird Leys, Bury Knowle, Cutteslowe & Sunnymead, Florence and Hinksey parks and St Sepulchre Cemetery.

In awarding the prize, the judges who visited Cutteslowe and Sunnymead park commented: “A wonderful park and a pleasure to visit. The butterfly farm and bird/animal sanctuary in the former nursery was certainly a very unexpected and pleasant surprise!”

Similarly, at Blackbird Leys park, judges commented on the good use local people gain through Community Fun Days and “the revived Leys Fair bringing many people into the park”.

The six Oxford parks are among a record-breaking 1,970 parks and green spaces to receive the award.

The award, now in its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has good visitor facilities.

Awards are given annually, with winners re-applying to renew their Green Flag Status. Each individual site is judged on its own merits, its sustainability and how it serves the community.

Councillor Louise Upton, Oxford City Council Cabinet Member for Healthy Oxford, said: “I am delighted that we have retained Green Flag Status for five of our flagship parks and St Sepulchre Cemetery. I would like to say a huge thank you to the Oxford Direct Services’ parks team and the many community groups and volunteers whose hard work means so many people can enjoy our green spaces.

“There is something for everyone all year round in Oxford’s parks and open spaces. Whether it is a family picnic, playing in the splash features, joining in on a health walk, or getting stuck in on a volunteer work party, there is always something new to do. Some people come every week with their whole sports team -  like the hundreds of girls and boys who play for Summertown Stars football club in Cutteslowe Park.  Other families come to the big festivals like Flo’ Fest held annually in Florence Park. Others just want to sit on the grass, read a book and enjoy the sunshine in Blackbird Leys park or to enjoy the little oasis of green calmness in the centre of Jericho that is St Sepulchre’s Cemetery”

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 126 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.”

A full list of award-winning parks can be found on the Green Flag Award website.

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