Release Date: 17/07/2012
Crane Park has clinched a prestigious Green Flag Award following a £400,000 makeover of the park, which was completed in March this year.
The park, which spans across the boroughs of Richmond upon Thames and Hounslow, achieved the revamp thanks to funds from the Mayor of London’s Help a London Park programme.
It has now been judged to meet the standards required to receive the Green Flag Award 2012/13. These standards include being a welcoming place that is safe and secure, well managed, and acts as an example of community involvement.
This joint award with Hounslow represents Richmond Council’s 13th Green Flag Award, recognising that the borough's parks are amongst the best in the country.
Crane Park was ear-marked for improvement over two years ago when more than 6,600 people across Richmond and Hounslow voted for it in the Mayor of London’s Help a London Park competition. Plans were then put in place to make the park more welcoming, improve access, create links between the two sides of the river and enhance the biodiversity.
The funding has since been used to improve the entrances to the park, upgrade and paint bridges, install new bins, benches and signage, resurface paths creating a 3km ‘dragonfly trail’, plant wildflower meadows and build an outdoor classroom for local schoolchildren.
Cllr Virginia Morris, Richmond Council’s Strategic Cabinet Member for Environment, said:
“We are delighted to have won this prestigious award for Crane Park, which pays tribute to all of the hard work that has been put into the park’s improvements by the local community and particularly groups like Friends of the River Crane Environment and Butts Farm Working Together Group.
“The Mayor of London’s Help a London Park programme funding has also been instrumental in helping us transform Crane Park into one of our finest green spaces.
“The park’s success really reinforces our ambitions for our future Parks Improvement Programme, which includes improving facilities and making parks more accessible to residents of all ages.”
Cllr Ajmer Grewal, Hounslow Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, said:
“This is a great achievement for everyone involved with the park. It’s been great to see the local community getting involved, and the outdoor classroom has been a great success. Crane Park is truly a park to be proud of, and this is a wonderful accolade.”
Commenting on Crane Park’s Green Flag Award, Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:
“I’m glad my Help a London Park fund has helped transform Crane Park into an award-winning green space. I hope local residents and visitors alike continue to enjoy the park for many years to come and are proud that this is recognised as one of London’s best green spaces.”
Frances Bennett, member of the Friends of the River Crane Environment (FORCE), added:
“We were overjoyed that Crane Park was successful in winning a Green Flag. The project that led to this was a remarkable collaboration between Richmond and Hounslow councils which had practical support from many volunteer groups including FORCE, the local community and schools. We know from our recent survey work that more people are now using the park than ever before.”
Hounslow resident Katy Cox, a member of the Butts Farm Working Together Group, said:
“For too many years the Hounslow side of Crane Park had been a very overgrown unpleasant place to enter but since the project’s completion it is now a pleasure to be in the park and you often find that many visitors are first time users of that side of the park.”
The other addition to Richmond’s Green Flag portfolio has gone to Garrick’s Lawn in Hampton in the latest round of accolades, and the site has also been awarded Green Heritage Accreditation for 2012/13.
Community parks projects have also been honoured in the latest round of Green Flag Community Awards, with Friends of School House Lane Orchard clinching an award for the second year running and Pensford Field Environmental Trust also scoring a community award.
Commenting on their latest award, Friends of School House Lane Orchard chairman Ian Jones-Healey said:
“We’re delighted to have national recognition for our much-loved orchard. It is a fantastic example of what can be achieved by local volunteers working with the council, and I would like to thank all involved.”