Winsford Gardens gets special recognition from national scheme

Published Tuesday, 17 January 2017

volunteers at Winsford

Winsford Gardens is celebrating after receiving a Special Award for Innovation from the Green Flag Award Scheme.

Winsford Gardens in Penge, south east London is one of just fifteen inspirational parks and green spaces in the UK to achieve the award, which is presented to Green Flag Award or Community Award winning sites that have made changes which have brought outstanding benefits to both their site and the local community. 

Penge Green Gym community group, also known as the Friends of Winsford Gardens, is a group of local volunteers who, since 2011, have been working tirelessly to transform this rather neglected and unloved open space into a vibrant park. By undertaking a number of projects aimed at conserving and improving Winsford Gardens, the group has created a welcoming open air resource for the local community and for wildlife.  Projects aimed at creating a better environment and improving biodiversity have included turning a disused concrete pond system into a vibrant bog garden which attracts insects and amphibians, and creating a series of raised beds planted-up with herbs and seasonal vegetables. 

Following the Green Flag Award judges visit to Winsford Gardens, Brenda Little, Chair of the Penge Green Gym Community Group said “we’re thrilled to learn that we’ve been recognised by this national scheme through their special award for Innovation. Here in Penge we’ve got a very resilient group of volunteers who really care about their local environment and turn-up each week, come rain or shine, to work in the gardens. Local residents who are increasingly using the gardens for recreational purposes are quick to complement us on the unstinting work we’re doing to transform the gardens.  And now, to receive this national recognition for our work is really the icing on the cake!” 

Councillor Colin Smith, Executive Councillor for Environment said, “Our warmest congratulations go to Friends of Winsford Gardens not just for this recognition but as a shining example of what can be achieved by local people working together and caring about their local greenspace. The award is especially warming to everyone who has been there from the beginning and watched them grow, thrive and prosper over the years and now serves as an inspiration to every other budding Group.  There are Friends of Parks groups right across the borough and if this story has inspired you, why not join your local group?  The Friends at Winsford welcome new Friends – simply turn up on Wednesday morning and make yourself known, with more information about the home of Penge Green Gym on their website.” 

Paul Todd, Green Flag Award Scheme manager said: “Congratulations to everyone involved in this Special Innovation Award. Research has proved that quality parks and green spaces play a vital role within their local communities.  Winsford Gardens is a perfect example of this.” 

Visit http://www.pengegreengym.org.uk/ for further information about the Friends of Winsford Gardens.

ENDS

Editor’s notes – 

  • For a list of Friends of Parks groups across the borough and how to join them, go to www.bromley.gov.uk/parks
  • Penge Green Gym Community Group of volunteers was established in May 2011 as a Green Gym under the auspices of The Conservation Volunteers, http://www.tcv.org.uk/ in conjunction with the London Borough of Bromley and The Glades shopping centre. TCV’s Green Gym system aims to provide experienced leaders to guide local volunteers through a range of outdoor practical gardening and conservation projects. Such activities improve volunteers’ well-being, strength and stamina, boosting practical skills and confidence whilst benefitting local green spaces.
  • idverde are responsible for a broad remit both managing all of Bromley Council’s wide range of parks, greenspaces and countryside sites and providing grounds maintenance services for parks, recreation grounds, outdoor sports, countryside, cemeteries, allotments, floral displays and greenspace.  As part of this, working in partnership with the council, idverde both support and champion Friends of Parks groups, including the Parks Forum, which all Friends of Parks groups are members of.
  • A full list of Special Innovation Award winners for 2016 can be found at http://www.greenflagaward.org.uk/.  In 2016, 1,686 parks and green spaces have been awarded the Green Flag and Green Flag Community Award.   
  • Keep Britain Tidy is a leading environmental charity. To find out more about Keep Britain Tidy, visit http://www.keepbritaintidy.org/.
  • For media enquiries, please contact Andrew Rogers, Communications Executive, on 020 8461 7670  or email andrew.rogers@bromley.gov.uk