Heaton Park in Manchester, one of 233 Green Flag award winners in the northwest region
Heaton Park in Manchester, one of 233 Green Flag award winners in the northwest region

The UK’s best green spaces, from university campuses to crematoriums

The greater London region scooped the most Green Flag awards, while the northeast received just 64

Joanna Whitehead
Friday 20 July 2018 12:24
Comments

The UK is abundant with beautiful national parks, forests and commons. If we want to head out on a brisk walk in the Lake District, the New Forest or even one of London’s parks, we are spoiled for choice.

And now, the Green Flag Award Scheme has revealed which of the UK’s green spaces are the best, with some surprising spots and hidden gems being granted Green Flag Award status.

The scheme recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces around the UK. Any freely accessible park or green space is entitled to apply for Green Flag Status, providing that it is easy to navigate or has a map of the space on site.

Perhaps surprisingly for such a built-up city, Greater London was awarded the most Green Flags, dispelling the myth that urban areas lack green space. The region scooped 433 flags, while the northeast only received 64.

Soho Square, Leicester Square Gardens and Lewisham’s Hilly Fields were all recipients of the award.

Traditional parks and gardens around the UK, such as Hampstead Heath in London, Heaton Park in Manchester and the Botanical Gardens in Sheffield were predictable, but worthy winners of the award.

And it wasn’t only spots of nature that bagged the awards. While green space may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of a retail outlet, Bluewater Shopping Centre boasts 50 acres of scenic, landscaped parkland and was awarded a Green Flag for the third year running.

Traditional parks and gardens around the UK, such as Hampstead Heath in London, Heaton Park in Manchester and the Botanical Gardens in Sheffield are predictable, but worthy winners of the award.

Crematoriums, cemeteries and resting places were also surprising recipients of the award.

International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “It has been a record-breaking year for Green Flag Awards, and it’s fantastic to see such a diverse range of locations have been recognised. We are proud to have so many wonderful green spaces in the UK for people to experience, and encourage the public to head outdoors, explore their local area and find even more unexpected green spaces they can enjoy.”

The full list of winners can be found here.

The top ten most unusual Green Flag Award spaces are:

1. Sutton Coldfield Crematorium, Sutton Coldfield

2. Bluewater Shopping Centre, Dartford

3. Farnborough Business Park, Farnborough

4. GreenAcres Woodland Burials, Rainford

5. Port Sunlight Village, Wirral

6. Thames Barrier Park, London

7. Loughborough University, Loughborough

8. Polish War Memorial Gardens, Hillingdon

9. Leicester Square Gardens, London

10. Sheffield Winter Garden, Sheffield

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in