LYDIARD Park is among the best parks and green spaces in the country after being awarded a Green Flag for the fourth year running.

The park, a popular destination for families to spend their free time in the shadow of Lydiard House, is owned by Swindon Council and joins Stanton Park as one of 1,470 venues to have been given the award this year.

To celebrate Lydiard once again being recognised for the national standard, Coun Garry Perkins (Con, Haydon Wick) will start today’s Park Run by waving a green flag.

Garry, council member for the economy, regeneration and skills, who is also responsible for Lydiard, said: “This is great news for Lydiard and Stanton as they are two important Swindon assets which are enjoyed by so many people throughout the year.

“If a park or open space has a Green Flag it signifies that it is of the highest standard, has great facilities and is beautifully maintained. Lydiard and Stanton certainly tick all those boxes.”

The Green Flag Awards, co-ordinated by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, are judged by more than 700 volunteer experts who visit applicant sites and assess them against eight strict criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement.

News of the award comes in the same week that thousands of people up and down the country are celebrating the nation’s parks and green spaces with Love Parks Week, which ends tomorrow.

International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “It’s another record-breaking year for the scheme.

“This is something well worth celebrating and testament to the efforts of the thousands of men and women, supported by some amazing volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag award.

“The parks sector is facing some tough challenges so it is heartening to see they are committed to maintaining and improving standards.

“We know how passionate people are about our parks and green spaces and the recent Heritage Lottery Fund report, State of UK Public Parks, highlighted the need for everyone to work together to ensure they are maintained for future generations.”

Lydiard Park has 260 acres of lawns, woodlands and pasture.

The restored state rooms of the Palladian house, the Walled Garden and children’s play area are open all year round for visitors. There is also an exciting events programme with plenty to offer for 2014.

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