Stover Country Park and The Grand Western Canal Country Park – two of the world’s best green spaces

Posted on: 17 July 2018

Stover Country Park and The Grand Western Canal Country Park – two of the world’s best.

Both of Devon County Council’s (DCC) country parks have once again been named as two of the best green spaces in Britain.

The Grand Western Canal Country Park, Mid Devon clinched the Green Flag Award for the tenth consecutive year. Stover Country Park, Teignbridge, has won the award 15 years in a row.

The double accolade now puts both parks as among the very best in the world – both parks increased their scores from last year, and now fall within the very top bracket for parks, not only in the UK but across the world.

They are listed among a record-breaking 1,883 UK parks and green spaces that will receive the prestigious award, the mark of a quality park or green space.

A Green Flag Award tells the public that the park boasts the highest possible
environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

The awards are judged by over 700 volunteers who visit sites across the country and assess them against strict criteria including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement.

The Grand Western Canal Country Park and Local Nature Reserve stretches more than 11 miles from Tiverton to the Somerset border.

Stover Country Park and Nature Reserve is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and consists of 114 acres of woodland, heathland, grassland, lake and marshland.

Councillor Roger Croad Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for country parks said:

“To hear that both parks have for the tenth time in succession been judged to be among the very best in Britain is great news.
“The judges marked both even higher than last year putting both parks up there with the very best in the world.
“We know how much these two parks matter to residents and visitors, and this award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining them to such a high standard.
“It also recognises and highlights that people in Devon are benefitting from a green space of the very highest quality.”

Councillor Colin Slade, Devon County Council’s local member for Tiverton

Councillor Colin Slade

East, said:

“The Grand Western Canal Country Park is over 11 miles long, and to maintain it takes an enormous amount of work.
“I want to thank all the Rangers and volunteers who work every day to ensure that the park continues to provide a wonderful location for people to enjoy a peaceful walk or cycle ride year after year.”

Councillor Ray Radford, Devon County Council’s local member for Willand &

Cllr Ray Radford

Uffculme and Mid Devon District Council’s local member for Halberton said:

“I understand that the judges were particularly impressed by the significant improvements made to access and amenity at the entrance to the Canal Basin car park and by the new play area which has increased the Country Park’s appeal for families and children. Congratulations must go to all the rangers who work hard to maintain it.”

Councillor George Gribble, Devon County Council’s local member for Bovey

Councillor George Gribble

Rural said:

“Stover this year was marked even higher this year because of its inclusivity and the valuable work rangers do with volunteers and special educational needs groups and also how the park is used for school visits including delivering a Forest School programme.

Councillor Ron Peart, Devon County Council’s local member Kingsteignton &

Councillor Ron Peart

Teign Estuary said:

“The park is not only a beauty spot it is a valued educational facility, a favoured spot for dog walkers, picnickers, children and those who want a quite stroll. The local community should be immensely proud to have a fantastic park like Stover on their doorstep.”

International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme, with more Green Flags awarded this year than last year.
“Each flag honours the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. We are proud to have so many wonderful green spaces in the UK for people to enjoy, and hope that next year, we award even more flags.”

Posted in: Environment