Today, Tees Barrage Park in Stockton-on-Tees is celebrating its first accolade, the prestigious Green Flag Award. From tonight until Halloween on 31 October, Tees Barrage will be lit up green, to celebrate the award.
Spanning 550 hectares (5.5km²), Tees Barrage Park incorporates four key sites along a half mile stretch of the River Tees. These sites are: Tees Barrage, Tees Barrage International White Water Centre* & Air Trail, Maze Hill Nature Reserve and Portrack Marsh Nature Reserve.
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The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for their management across the United Kingdom and around the world.
Canal & River Trust, the waterways and wellbeing charity that looks after Tees Barrage, has been working with Tees Active and Tees Valley Wildlife Trust and Stockton Council to formally establish Tees Barrage Park and three of the four key sites within the Park were constructed 25 years ago alongside the building of the barrage.
Lizzie Dealey, partnerships and external relationships manager at Canal & River Trust applied for the award on behalf of the group. She explained: “A Green Flag Award comes from a lot of hard work and I’d like to thank and congratulate everyone who works or volunteers for Canal & River Trust, Tees Active and Tees Valley Wildlife Trust for their efforts to maintain this attractive, diverse landscape and look after the amazing wildlife that live here.”
“With record numbers of people discovering their local parks, woodlands and waterways as places to exercise, take a breath of fresh air, and find a moment of peace during the pandemic, it is vital that we look after our blue and green spaces. So, wrap up warm and take time out to explore Tees Barrage Park for yourself and look out for wildlife along the way, from seals to wetland birds.”
Leon Jones, Tees Active Managing Director said: “The Green Flag award signifies the value of a park to the local community and recognises the excellent standards achieved in every area. At Tees Active we are committed to building active and healthy communities and the Green Flag status for Tees Barrage Park will enable us to attract new visitors, increase levels of physical activity and enhance the lives of local residents.
“Whether you want to run, walk, cycle, climb or paddle, there is something for all ages and abilities and I would encourage everyone to get out and explore what’s on our doorstep.”
Tees Barrage Park is one of more than 2,000 sites across the country to collect the award for 2020.
Commenting on the Tees Barrage Park success, Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “This year, more than ever, our parks and green spaces have been a lifeline and we know that millions of people have used them to relax, meet friends, exercise or simply escape for a short time.
“It is testament to the incredible dedication and hard work of parks staff and volunteers that Tees Barrage Park has achieved the highest international standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”
For more information about the Canal & River Trust, including how you can volunteer or support the charity, visit canalrivertrust.org.uk
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