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Haysden Country Park celebrates 10 years of Green Flag Awards

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Haysden Country Park's Green Flag flew proudly overhead on Saturday 12 September as rangers, park volunteers and council officers celebrated achieving the Green Flag Award for 10 consecutive years. 

To celebrate the tenth anniversary Keep Britain Tidy's Green Flag Award Scheme Manager Paul Todd presented Cllr Maria Heslop, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Community Services, with a certificate to mark the occasion. 

He says: "A Green Flag flying overhead is a sign to the public that the park boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.  You only have to look around to see how true that is.  Very high standards have been maintained over an entire decade and this certificate recognises that."

Cllr Maria Heslop says:  "To achieve this prestigious award for 10 years running is testament to the rangers and staff involved, volunteer groups, wildlife specialists, partnership organisations and visitors for their continuing efforts to help us improve and develop the park. There's no doubt that their efforts have paid off.  Haysden Country Park provides a superb open space for local people to enjoy and is more popular with visitors than ever. We are very fortunate to have such enthusiastic and committed volunteers, who clock up some 2,000 hours each year and anyone who is enthusiastic and willing to 'get their hands dirty' (although protective gloves are supplied!) would be very welcome to come along and swell the ranks - who knows, maybe we'll manage 3,000 volunteer hours next year!"

Led by the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers under the Green Gym Programme, volunteering began at Haysden Country Park in 2002.  The Haysden Country Park Volunteers is now a properly constituted volunteer group of around thirty members, of whom some twenty normally attend each of the monthly 'task days' when they receive training and learn new skills.  The volunteers are involved in a wide range of projects throughout the park from fundraising, wildlife and wildflower monitoring, to conservation, and habitat management and maintenance tasks. 

Further information on the Haysden Country Park Volunteers and how to join is available on the Council's website www.tmbc.gov.uk/parkhelp. Prospective volunteers can also telephone the Council's Leisure Services on 01732 876166.

Set in a beautiful area of countryside covering about 165 acres in the Medway Valley to the west of Tonbridge, Haysden Country Park includes a children's play area and a range of habitats such as grassland, freshwater lakes, marshland and woodland, which are home to a wealth of insects, birds and animals.  The park has play sculptures and an oak sculpture can be found in the Friendship Wood to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of twinning between Tonbridge and Malling and Heusenstamm.  The park is also a designated Local Nature Reserve and visitors can explore the nature trails that wind through the park. 

Volunteers are praised whilst celebrating 10 years of Green Flag Awards for Haysden Country Park in Kent.

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