Today, the National Memorial Arboretum, in Staffordshire, has been awarded its first Green Flag Award, an international quality mark for parks and green spaces. The 150-acre garden and woodland site, home to 400 memorials commemorating the service of the Armed Forces, emergency services and community and voluntary groups, has been recognised alongside 2126 other locations across the UK.
Earlier this year, the Arboretum declared a climate emergency alongside making a series of ambitious pledges on sustainability to help safeguard the Nation’s year-round place to remember for future generations. These pledges covering all aspects of the site's operations were made as part of a commemorative programme marking 20 years since the Arboretum opened to the public.
“Our staff and volunteers work incredibly hard to keep our grounds in excellent condition, providing a world-class inspirational setting for hundreds of thousands of people to explore each year,” said Andy Ansell, Head of Estates. “We are incredibly proud that our collective efforts have been recognised by this prestigious scheme. As custodians of a beautiful green space that is home to hundreds of memorials, we will continue to embrace every opportunity for sustainable estate management, safeguarding this living memorial for future generations.”
After 18 months that have seen our parks and green spaces play a vital role for people through lockdowns as a place to relax, exercise and meet friends and family safely, the news that the National Memorial Arboretum has achieved the Green Flag Award is testament to the hard work and dedication of the site’s staff and volunteer team.
Collectively they work tirelessly to ensure that this green space remains an inspirational setting for hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to celebrate lives lived and commemorate lives lost.
The list of parks and green spaces awarded the Green Flag award is exceptionally diverse, and in addition to the Arboretum, it includes Woodhouse Park in Peterlee and Chiswick Old Cemetery in London.
“I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making the National Memorial Arboretum worthy of a Green Flag Award,” said Paul Todd, Green Flag Award Scheme Manager. “To meet the requirements demanded by the scheme is testament to the hard work of the staff and volunteers who do so much to ensure that the Arboretum has high standards of horticulture, safety and environmental management and is a place that supports people to live healthy lives.”
The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of green spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.