Five Newark and Sherwood green spaces earn prestigious Green Flag Award

Posted on: Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Newark and Sherwood is home to many fantastic open spaces and parks for residents to enjoy, and the District Council is pleased to announce that it has increased the number of internationally recognised parks within the district, with five local green spaces and parks recognised with the prestigious Green Flag Award.

Four of the district’s parks, Newark Castle Gardens, Sconce and Devon Park, Vicar Water Country Park and Sherwood Heath Cockglode and Rotary Woods, have all once again been awarded the Green Flag Award, the international quality mark for parks and green spaces.

Newark and Sherwood District Council is pleased to announce that a fifth green space, a new community garden in Newark, has also been added to the list of award winners in the district!

Following Government approval, the District Council can also reveal that this new Green Flag Award winning park has been named the Queen Elizabeth Memorial Garden, in honour of the country’s longest reigning Monarch.

The Queen Elizabeth Memorial Garden is nestled on land adjacent to Newark Library. Through community perseverance, this land was stopped from development and now bursts with biodiversity, wildlife and new planting. The site also features space for local groups to use it for their own activities. Designed with wildlife and sustainability in mind, the garden can be booked for free as a space for learning and activities and events.

The Green Flag Award, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, is a sign to the public that the space holds the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities, and also recognises the hard work of staff and volunteers in maintaining spaces that meet the needs of the local community.

Councillor Paul Peacock, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “Receiving this award is a testament to the work we continue to do to maintain and improve our green spaces and parks. Residents have told us how much they value these spaces in our district; we’ve listened, and we understand how important it is for our residents and visitors to be able to access quality green spaces.

I’m thrilled to see the hard work of those who are involved in the green spaces being recognised, from the Park Rangers, Street Scene staff, our Corporate Property team and site managers to the incredible groups of Friends and volunteers, whose efforts are all responsible for this achievement.”

Councillor Emma Oldham, Portfolio Holder for Biodiversity and Environmental Services at Newark and Sherwood District Council said: “Our local green spaces and parks are beautiful and free spaces that residents can enjoy, whether it be somewhere for children to run and play, for people to get some fresh air and exercise, or simply somewhere to spend time and enjoy nature.

“It is great to see not only Newark Castle Gardens, Sconce and Devon Park, Vicar Water Country Park and Sherwood Heath Cockglode and Rotary Woods once again being awarded, but the new Queen Elizabeth Memorial Garden also being added to our award-winning list of parks within the district.

“From wormeries to purple carpets of wildflowers, carefully crafted raised planters and captivating wildlife murals, this extraordinary sanctuary teems with life. Adorned with a living green wall and crowned by an exceptional Oak Tree, acknowledged as a distinguished finalist for The National Trust's renowned Tree of the Year 2022 award, this haven stands as a resounding testament to the transformative power of community and council collaboration.

"Together, they have woven an inspiring tapestry of shared purpose and remarkable collective achievement."

Results from the latest resident survey showed residents placing more importance on local parks and green spaces during recent times, and this announcement is a fantastic example of the works the District Council is putting in to create a greener district and enhance the Newark and Sherwood’s natural environment in order to improve the health and wellbeing of local residents.

£350,000 has been committed by the District Council to improve and develop ten local play parks, with plans to replace aging equipment for new, imaginative pieces of play equipment and include inclusive play equipment for all ability users where possible to do so. These plans include both a new Castle-themed play area park and a fantastic new Fitness Zone for visitors to use at the already popular Sconce and Devon Park.

Works to improve the access at both Sconce and Devon Park and Sherwood Heath was recently undertaken with footpath works being made to improve park users’ experience as they enjoy the space, creating paved routes through areas which experience heavy footfall. The development of the pathways has also improved the accessibility of the park by linking up existing paved routes, allowing wheelchair and mobility scooters to access areas of the park which until now had been inaccessible.

Find out more about the district’s parks and green spaces: