Oswaldtwistle’s newly refurbished Rhyddings Park has been recognised as one of the UK’s very best green spaces, collecting the prestigious Green Flag Award and not only swelling the number of Green Flag spaces in the Borough to nine, but also flying Hyndburn to the top of the Green Flag table in Lancashire, with the most Green Flags in the County!
The newly refurbished Rhyddings Park joins Lowerfold Park, Cutwood Park, Oakhill Park, Mercer Park, Gatty Park and Peel Park, Accrington Cemetery and Crematorium, and Wilson Playing Fields & Woodlands, in being among a record-breaking 1970 UK parks and green spaces that will today 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 space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.
Cllr Paul Cox, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Parks and Open Spaces, pictured on the right, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive a Green Flag Award in Rhyddings Park for the first time, bringing the total Green Flags in Hyndburn up to nine! All this is only made possible by the hard work and dedication of the many staff and community groups who have worked long and hard to achieve them. We are blessed here in Hyndburn to have many community groups who give their time and energy so freely, our newest Green Flag Park, Rhyddings in Oswaldtwistle, is typical of this, with a fantastic Friends group who have got the park buzzing with activity and visitors and who have the ethos that’s it’s a park run by the community, for the community.
Cllr Cox added; “A massive well done and thanks to the Friends and other support groups associated with the parks; Hyndburn Green Spaces Forum – whose amazing work has been recognised recently with the Queens Award for Voluntary Service; PROSPECTS, Hyndburn Athletics Club, Residents Associations, the Local History Society and our dedicated parks and cemetery staff who all worked so hard to make these nine sites reach the high standards to get Green Flag status.”
Ann Warrington, Chair of the Friends of Rhyddings Park Group, pictured on the left, said; “It means so much to us to get the Green Flag Award for Rhyddings, it’s the result of a lot of hard work of a lot of people. A huge thank you to everyone involved.
Newground Together, part of Together Housing Group, worked with Hyndburn Council and Friends of Rhyddings Park to secure a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund to reinvigorate Rhyddings Park and restore it to its former glory.
Joanne Shaw, pictured centre, Newground’s Volunteer Engagement Officer at Rhyddings Park, said; “We are delighted that Rhyddings Park has been recognised as one of the country’s top green spaces 110 years after it was gifted to the people of Oswaldwistle.
“Not only does this historic park provide quality green space, which in itself has huge physical and mental health benefits to residents, but it also offers a host of community activities to boost cohesion and reduce isolation.”
International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “It’s fantastic that we have more Green Flag Awards in the UK than ever before, joined this year by 131 International winners.”
“Each flag honours the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. We congratulate each and every winner on their fantastic achievement.”
Images below are of Rhyddings Park in January 2019 and July 2019