Green Flag Award for Rushmere Country Park

  • Rushmere Country Park is celebrating its first Green Flag Award

The park joins 2,061 green spaces across the country receiving this international quality mark

Today, parks and green spaces across the country will be raising their Green Flag Award with pride in a year when millions of people have seen the value of having great quality green spaces on their doorstep.

Among them will be Rushmere Country Park in Heath and Reach, near Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, which is raising a Green Flag Award for the first time.

Above: Greensand Trust Trustee Sally Hunt and Howard Hughes, Active Lifestyles Manager at Central Bedfordshire Council pictured at Rushmere Country Park with the Fairy King.

Tonight as darkness falls, Rushmere Country Park will be joining buildings and landmarks across the country, including the White Cliffs of Dover, the London Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Salford’s Media City, going green for parks to celebrate Rushmere Country Park’s Green Flag Award success by lighting up the Fairy King and to say a massive thank you to the park’s staff, volunteers and the Green Flag Award Judges for all their work this year. 

The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for their management across the United Kingdom and around the world.

The Greensand Trust is already involved in helping to manage a number of Bedfordshire Green Flag sites including Ampthill Great Park, Tiddenfoot Waterside Park, Linslade Wood and Flitton Moor, but this award is one the Trust is particularly proud of as we co-own and manage Rushmere Country Park.

Rushmere Country Park is one of more than 2,000 sites across the country to collect the award for 2020. The Greensand Trust’s Chief Executive Gill Welham commented: “In what has been a particularly challenging year, we are especially delighted to have been successful in our application to the Green Flag Award scheme at our first attempt.

“The judges commented that Rushmere Country Park is a hidden gem with stunning landscapes and noted our good understanding of both landscape and people management.

“We were particularly pleased the contribution made by over 180 volunteers involved on the site was recognised, as well as the excellent education outreach our team provides.

“This achievement is thanks to the hard work and dedication of our small charity team, our volunteers and our visitors for their continued support.”

Councillor Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Services for Central Bedfordshire Council, which co-owns the site, said, “This is fantastic news, especially this year when our parks and open spaces have been a lifeline to residents, providing them with a place to relax, meet friends, exercise or simply escape for a short time.

“We’re delighted that Rushmere Country Park has been recognised for the first time. The award is testament to the incredible dedication and hard work of the staff and volunteers who have worked tirelessly to make improvements to the park and maintain it to the high standards required by the Green Flag Awards.”

Commenting on Rushmere Country Park’s success, Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said, “This year, more than ever, our parks and green spaces have been a lifeline and we know that millions of people have used them to relax, meet friends, exercise or simply escape for a short time.
“It is testament to the incredible dedication and hard work of park staff and volunteers that, despite the challenges that went along with record numbers of visitors, Rushmere Country Park has achieved the highest international standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”

The Greensand Trust is Registered Charity: 1077055, a Company limited by guarantee. Registered in England: 370241