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Flying (the green) flag for Cassiobury Park

(6th August 2007)

Cassiobury Park has been named as one of the best parks in England and Wales, after successfully winning a Green Flag Award. The national scheme has been running for 11 years and winning parks are judged on whether they are welcoming, safe, well maintained and involve the local community.

Elected Mayor of Watford, Dorothy Thornhill said: “Cassiobury Park is a fantastic and well loved local amenity. Situated close to the heart of the town, it offers residents and visitors alike an oasis of calm and an opportunity to enjoy the various activities.

Dorothy continued: “I’m delighted that the Council has won this award for the park. We have worked hard to ensure that our application for the Green Flag Award has been successful. We asked residents and various groups with a particular interest in the park, how they wanted to see the park improved.”

Cassiobury Park is the largest and best known park in Watford and is visited by thousands of local residents and visitors from further afield. The park has a range of facilities including football and cricket pitches, golf course and children’s putting golf course, children’s play areas, tea pavilion, paddling pools, cycle paths, tennis courts (grass and hard surface), bowls green, croquet club, miniature railway, bouncy castle, and Local Nature Reserve. The River Gade and the Grand Union canal also run through the park.

Dave Cobb, Watford Borough Council’s Manager responsible for parks and open spaces said: “The Green Flag Award is a national standard for parks and green spaces. It is seen as a way to encourage others to aim to achieve a high environmental standard, creating a benchmark of excellence for parks and green spaces.

“It is now our responsibility to make sure that we uphold the high standards that we have achieved in Cassiobury Park and the Mayor has asked us to roll out the scheme to other parks and green spaces in the Borough.”

In 1909 the Urban District Council paid £24,500 for 65 acres of the old Cassiobury estate and added a further 25 acres, costing £7,000, in 1912, to create a “people’s park and pleasure ground.” More land was purchased in 1923 and 1930, the West Herts Golf Course in 1932 and Whippendell Woods in 1935.

The Friends of Cassiobury Park are active in assisting the Council to improve and maintain the park and also carry out a considerable amount of voluntary work throughout the park. The Friends have donated money towards tree planting and benches, planted daffodils and regularly have litter clear up days and work parties. For more information about the Friends visit their website at: www.communigate.co.uk/herts/friendsofcassioburypark/

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