Fleet Pond, Elvetham Heath Nature Reserve and Hartley Wintney Central Commons in Hart have been recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme as some of the very best open spaces in the world.
The three sites are amongst a record-breaking 1,797 UK parks and green spaces that have received a prestigious Green Flag award – the mark of quality. This international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.
Fleet Pond, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), is an incredibly important site for nature conservation, and has received the award for its third year running. Colin Gray, Chairman of the Fleet Pond Society, was named ‘Green Flag Volunteer of the Year 2017’. He was nominated by the Hart Countryside Rangers for his dedication to Fleet Pond.
Colin said: “I feel very honoured to have been nominated for this award and even more so for being chosen. What I do at Fleet Pond is for love of Fleet Pond and I do not really need or expect recognition. Seeing people enjoying the reserve and people telling me what a great job the rangers and Fleet Pond Society are doing is reward enough. I am very grateful that the Hart Rangers feel I earned nomination for such a prestigious award.”
Elvetham Heath also received the Green Flag for its sixth year running, alongside Hartley Wintney Central Commons which received the Green Flag and the Green Flag Heritage award for the fifth and fourth years respectively.
Cllr Sara Kinnell, Cabinet Member for Environmental promotion at Hart District Council said: “We are absolutely delighted to retain our Green Flag Awards for yet another year. We know how much quality green spaces matter to residents and visitors, and this award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining Fleet Pond, Elvetham Heath and Hartley Wintney Central Commons to such a high standard.”
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. Each flag is a celebration of the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. The success of the scheme, especially in these challenging times, demonstrates just how much parks matter to people.”
For more information about Hart District Council’s Countryside Services please visit www.hart.gov.uk/countryside-nature.