Tuesday, October 18, 2016

News: Clifton Park amongst nation's ten most popular parks

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Clifton Park on the edge of Rotherham town centre has been voted one of the public's favourites in this year's People's Choice contest.

Clifton Park qualified for the People's Choice nomination because it was awarded a prestigious Green Flag for the fifth time in July. It is among a record-breaking 1,686 parks and green spaces to receive a Green Flag Award which is a sign to the public that the park boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.

Clifton Park is a major attraction for Rotherham with many families travelling from across the borough and beyond, to enjoy its open green spaces, gardens, entertainment facilities and the Clifton Park Museum.

Between 1783 and 1784, Joshua Walker, of the Walker Iron & Steel Works of Masborough, and local architect John Carr, built Clifton House which included stables, outbuildings, dovecotes, fishponds, an icehouse, and wells. Clifton Park was originally laid out as the private grounds of the house, which is now Clifton Park Museum.

When the estate was put up for sale for building plots, Rotherham Council recognised the need for green space inthe expanding town and bought 54 acres (22.5ha) for £25,000 in 1891. £5,000 was spent on improvements and the park was opened to the public by the Prince and Princess of Wales on the June 25 1891.

Investment in recent years includes £7.5m in 2009 to bring the walled garden back into use and updating the paddling pool with an innovative splash park, one of the most modern and impressive in Britain. In addition, a play park was designed in consultation with young people with eight separate areas including a skate plaza, sand area, chill out area and an enchanted wood.

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The Green Flag Award is managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy in partnership with Keep Wales Tidy, Keep Scotland Beautiful and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.

Paul Todd, manager at the International Green Flag Award, said: "The Green Flag Awards are judged every year by an army of more than 800 volunteer judges, but the People's Choice is the public's opportunity to vote for their favourite parks and it is wonderful that more than 30,000 people have done just that this year as the scheme celebrates its 20th anniversary.

"Winning a Green Flag Award is testament to the hard work of local authorities and the managers of public green space up and down the country along with hundreds of thousands of volunteers. More than 1,700 parks this year are flying the Green Flag Award and the People's Choice Award shows them just how much that hard work is appreciated by the public.

"The People's Choice Award also shows that communities value all their green space, not just traditional parks."

Cllr Taiba Yasseen, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Working and Cultural Services at Rotherham Council, described Clifton Park as the jewel in the crown of Rotherham's urban parks. She said: "It was fantastic that Clifton Park retained its Green Flag this summer, but to be voted for a People’s Choice Award as well is the icing on the cake!

"Clifton Park is rightly popular with people from across Rotherham and even further afield, who come here for a great day out.

"As well the staff who work there, the support of Friends of Clifton Park has been invaluable in achieving this success and of course, the contribution of the many visitors who enjoy its facilities each week.

"A big thank you to all involved - including those who took the time to vote and helped the park achieve this wonderful accolade."

Clifton Park website

Images: RMBC


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