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Green Flag Award 2017

Green Flag Award 2017

Hastings Green Flag Award

Hastings is flying the flag with some of the UK’s very best green spaces. HBC’s Barbara Browning writes. Hastings ‘Alexandra Park, St Leonards Gardens and the Country Park have been recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme as three of the very best green spaces in the world.

The parks are among a record-breaking 1,797 UK parks and green spaces that will receive a prestigious Green Flag Award – the mark of a quality park or green space.

This international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that the spaces boast the highest possible environmental standards, are beautifully maintained and have excellent visitor facilities.

Hastings Borough Council owns all three parks and Cllr Colin Fitzgerald, its lead member for the environment, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive Green Flag Awards for three of our park and open spaces again.

“It is a key commitment for the council to retain our green flags for Alexandra Park, St Leonards Gardens and Hastings Country Park. We recognise how important parks and green spaces are for physical and mental well-being. By retaining our Green Flags we are demonstrating our commitment to improving the quality of our parks and green spaces for everyone. Alexandra Park and St Leonards Gardens are two of our most important heritage parks and Hastings Country Park is the largest sustainably managed nature reserve in the Town.’

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.”

Posted 08:55 Thursday, Jul 27, 2017 In: Home Ground


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  1. Michael Madden

    It’s a waste of time adding another comment, when others have covered it here and last year – see

    I suggest, though, that we should give the council a hearty round of applause for failing to meet any of the criteria that this award demands. I’m sure many will cheer as I say that we look forward to next year’s award.

    What could it be? How about The “George Orwell Ministry of Truth Award”? It has a nice ring!

    Comment by Michael Madden — Thursday, Aug 3, 2017 @ 15:09

  2. Sandra Cowell

    Hastings Borough Council and The Green Flag Award group should give themselves a post-truth award.

    HBC have spent tens of thousands of local taxpayers’ money denying their own part in the 2014 landslip that ruined Ecclesbourne Glen and shut off the formerly unique stretch of the Saxon Shore Way forever. They have commissioned two geo-technical reports at public expense and then refused to let the public see their findings.

    And yet they have gained a second award from a group who seem to know nothing of this and could not possibly have walked along that once beautiful stretch of path which used to lead down towards the little stream on the way to Warren Glen, Fairlight Glen and Firehills – its mature oaks, damson trees and sloe hedges gone forever.

    Why can’t the award group see that, without consulting locals and actually seeing ‘before and after’ photos, giving out such awards is meaningless: an insult to the people who are still mourning the loss of their own “national treasure” and its effect on their quality of life here in Hastings?

    Comment by Sandra Cowell — Thursday, Aug 3, 2017 @ 14:04

  3. Ms.Doubtfire

    Community Involvement? Get too involved and you will probably be labelled vexatious.

    Comment by Ms.Doubtfire — Tuesday, Aug 1, 2017 @ 10:22

  4. Andy Ammo

    There are eight key criteria for sites under consideration for a Green Flag Award:
    A welcoming place
    Healthy, safe and secure
    Clean and well maintained
    Conservation and heritage
    Community involvement

    Hastings Country Park fails in all of them (with the possible exception of marketing). What was once an exceptional place has become a dispiriting eyesore, that is painful to visit: a wide and ugly monument to their persistent neglect of their responsibilities.

    The damage is permanent. The Council’s show of caring about the Country Park is offensive given its record (and continuing indifference).

    The Green Flag scheme manager is right in mentioning ‘just how much parks matter to people’. Given the diverse damage done, Hastings Borough Council do not deserve this Green Flag award. They did not deserve it last year either. It feels like propaganda.

    Comment by Andy Ammo — Monday, Jul 31, 2017 @ 10:48

  5. Ms.Doubtfire

    There are many here who will read of this award with total disbelief.
    For years our Country Park has been at the mercy of bad management and unauthorised works. The ‘bunker’ at the Rocklands caravan park remains in situ, the landslip at Rocklands has forced the closure of Eccelsbourne Glen and Fairlight Cove remains closed. Tree replanting at the caravan park is inadequate and will never replace the original screening.
    Many will have now forgotten the shameful razing of the Firehills causing massive loss of the gorse which was such a significant feature of these hills. Few however will forget the poor Belted Galloway which drowned in a disused water tank. How many more of these tanks are there on this land which is used for grazing?
    We now learn that the sub contractors for the Country Park admit they do not have maps of the park and are not sure of the scope of their maintenance contracts in the country park.
    All this and much more – one has to question whether the ‘awarders’ of this Flag award have ever visited our Country Park or read the comprehensive list of complaints raised by the public.

    Comment by Ms.Doubtfire — Monday, Jul 31, 2017 @ 08:53

  6. Chris Hurrell

    So the Country Park has been awarded another Green Flag award? This is a triumph of propaganda and double speak over physical reality. HBC’s hubris knows no bounds.

    Ecclesbourne glen (an area protected by a raft of environmental policies) lies in ruins, the Planning Committee and officers have failed to insist on proper screening for the bunker, the coastal path is unlikely to reopen. HBC has done nothing to investigate the causes of the landslip and will not take remedial action to address the causes of the landslip. HBC instead spends tens of thousands on keeping geotechnical reports secret.

    The Country Park has been awarded a Green Flag award for the second year running. This is so typical of the behaviour of our post-truth council. The award recognises the Country Park as one of the best in the world (joining around another 1800 in the country. But have members of the Green Flag organisation really visited the Country Park or just believed the post truth claims of HBC? Colin Fitzgerald, HBC’s “lead member for the environment”, said, in an article for the Hastings Observer: “We know how much quality green spaces matter to residents and visitors, and this award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining Hastings’ green spaces to such a high standard.”, and “Hastings Country Park is the largest sustainably managed nature reserve in the town.”

    According to the article”This international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that the spaces boast the highest possible environmental standards, are beautifully maintained and have excellent visitor facilities.

    Ecclesbourne Meadows and Warren Glen lie behind barbed wire , Fairlight Cove remains closed for good.. Paths are not cleared properly.

    Despite this HBC receive another Green Flag. One has to ask has the Green Flag organisation visited our Country Park or does it just take the word of HBC?

    The article has a lovely photo showing Murray Davidson the Natural Resources Manager and the officer responsible for the Country Park. Mr Davidson has done nothing to protect Ecclesbourne Glen. Correspondence between Mr Davidson and Natural England shows that he has informed Natural England that the landslip is an entirely natural phenomena. This is in contradiction to the HBC commissioned Coffey report which recognises that man made developments are a factor in the landslip. Mr Davidson also tells Natural England that they must say that no remedial works can be carried out in the glen. At the recent planning ctte meeting he endorsed a planting scheme that can never screen the building.

    Also pictured is Cllr Street chair of the planning ctte, The Planning Ctte voted twice against the bunker but then inexplicably voted in favour of a planting scheme that does nothing to screen our Country Park from the visual harm caused by the bunker. Cllr Street is a member of the AONB advisory ctte and Country Park management Ctte .

    The article also mentions IdVerde the HBC sub contractors who only last week admitted they don’t have maps of the Country Park and don’t know the scale and scope of their path maintenance contracts in the Country Park.

    Comment by Chris Hurrell — Friday, Jul 28, 2017 @ 11:46

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