Wed 14 Oct 20
This week, parks and green spaces across the country will be raising their Green Flag Award with pride in a year when millions of people have seen the value of having great quality green spaces on their doorstep.
Among them will be the University of Essex after Wivenhoe Park, home to our Colchester Campus, won a Green Flag Award for the fourth year running.
Grounds manager Marcus Clayton said: “We are delighted to see the amazing grounds of our Colchester Campus recognized once again. This is thanks to the incredible hard work and dedication of our Grounds staff. The team take huge pride in their work and love making the Campus look fantastic all year round for our staff, students and visitors to enjoy.
“We’ve also introduced many measures to make our approach more sustainable, including more organic products and electric equipment.
Head of Sustainability and Grounds Rob Davey said: “This year our fantastic parkland has become even more important to our community, particularly for the students living on our campus and the staff who have continued working here.
“I am so proud of our grounds team who have worked through such a challenging year, to make our campus look its best as students returned for the new term."
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.
The Colchester Campus is one of more than 2,000 sites across the country to collect the award for 2020.
Commenting on the University of Essex’s 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."
Encouraging biodiversity is a priority for the University of Essex team. This includes introducing new wildflower areas and more bird and bat boxes.
The team has also been striving to reduce the use of chemical fertilisers and grounds staff now use almost 100% organic products on the sports pitches, which is great for the health of the grass but also great for the environment.
Wivenhoe Park has been been home to the University of Essex since the 1960s and has a rich history. It was painted by Constable and provided a home to the Special Air Service (SAS) during World War II. Now its 200-plus acres of parkland are home to a wide range of wildlife, including rare bees, moths and spiders.
Any green space that is freely accessible to the public can apply for a Green Flag Award. The Awards are announced annually and previous winners must re-apply if they wish to retain their status. The University has gone on to win the People's Choice title in 2018 and 2019.
In 2019 we built on our Green Flag Award success by winning the People's Choice Award too. Discover more on our videos.