Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

County Council country parks proudly fly prestigious Green Flag

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

During this year's Love Parks Week, all of Hampshire County Council's eligible country parks will be flying the prestigious Green Flag Award for 2014.

The national award, handed out by environmental charity, Keep Britain Tidy, recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country. The Green Flag is a sign to visitors that the County Council's country parks achieve the highest possible standards, are well-maintained, and have good facilities.

The country parks hoisting their coveted Green Flags during Love Parks Week (Friday 25 July - Sunday 3 August) are:

Councillor Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council, said: "Green Flags are an important sign to visitors of the high quality they can enjoy during a visit to our country parks. They also represent all the hard work of staff, volunteers and partner organisations who are dedicated to making our country parks a wonderful location for everyone to enjoy.

"Over the next few years, we will be building on the success of our country parks, with a programme of transformation which, once complete, will provide an even greater array of activities and facilities, which will enable people to enjoy the outdoors more often throughout the year."

Each of Hampshire's country parks offers something unique.

Lepe Country Park has over a mile of beautiful coastline which provides the perfect opportunity to take a tranquil stroll and admire stunning views across the Solent and over to the Isle of Wight. There is also an adventure playground for the children. The park shore played a vital role in D-Day preparations as thousands of troops with their vehicles and supplies left Lepe's beach for the coast of Normandy on 6 June 1944.

Manor Farm and Country Park can be enjoyed by all, whether it's walking, cycling or horse riding in the woods, or on the banks of the River Hamble. Children can enjoy meeting the animals in the historic farm, or play in the extensive Barnfield play area.

Queen Elizabeth Country Park has more than 200 acres of woodland and downland for the whole family to enjoy, with wonderful views of the South Downs and history that dates back to the Iron Age.

Royal Victoria Country Park sits on the shores of the River Solent and its iconic Chapel can be seen for miles around. From 1863 until 1966, the site was home to the Royal Victoria Hospital - more than a quarter of a mile long. As the British Army's first purpose-built hospital, the building devoted more than 100 years of service to caring for sick and wounded soldiers from across the world. Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone herself on 19 May 1856 and visited the site over 20 times in her lifetime. The hospital came into its own during the First World War.

Staunton Country Park offers acres of ancient woodland and beautifully landscaped parkland as well as George's Play Barn for the children and the farm, which is home to a wide range of animals from sheep and chickens, to Shetland ponies, a shire horse, llamas and Alpacas.

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