Green Flag

What is Green Flag?

The Green Flag Award is the national standard for parks and green spaces in England and Wales. The award scheme began in 1996 as a means of recognising and rewarding the best green spaces in the country.  It was also seen as a way of encouraging others to achieve the same high environmental standards, creating a benchmark of excellence in recreational green areas.
Awards are given on an annual basis and winners must apply each year to renew their Green Flag status. Throughout England and Wales the owners, managers and staff of many parks and green spaces work tirelessly to ensure their application for the prestigious Green Flag Award is successful. The number of applicants increases year after year and with this increasing interest in the scheme it is clear the Green Flag Award scheme is a resounding success.
There has recently been much discussion about the declining quality of our city parks and lack of focus upon rural green spaces. While this is undoubtedly a cause for concern in many places there are also many examples of thriving, popular sites run by dedicated, enthusiastic people working closely with their communities. The Green Flag Award Scheme is the impetus to an ever-increasing improvement in the quality of our parks and green spaces.

Green Flag sites in Lee Valley Regional Park


WaterWorks Centre nature reserve

As the name suggests, this site was once used for water purification, but it’s now a unique wildlife haven and family favourite.

The site features one of the largest bird hides in London which provides a fantastic close up experience for visitors. Nine of the original water beds remain and each radial bed is managed throughout the year to show the different stages of natural succession.

On site there are over 500 species of plant, over 25 species of breeding birds and a range of wildlife.

The site was first Green Flag accredited in July 2006.

Walthamstow Marshes

Walthamstow Marshes is a wonderful riverside nature reserve which has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is very important for certain rare plants and other wildlife.

The SSSI is a fragment of once extensive marshes and traces of Ice Age river channels can still be seen when the water table is high. After a gap of nearly 100 years, cows can be seen grazing the marshes again, restoring an ancient tradition.

A diverse wildlife population is supported by the marshes and the site boasts a range of flora.

The site was first Green Flag accredited in July 2006.

Gunpowder Park

Gunpowder Park is a 222 acre country park which benefits lots of important wildlife whilst providing a wonderful day out.

Formerly part of the Royal Gunpowder Mills, it was used for the research and development of explosives. This land has now been regenerated into a great place for walkers, runners and cyclists and an important habitat.

The site was first Green Flag accredited in July 2006.

Bow Creek

Once used for iron works, shipbuilding and as a coal wharf the site has been redeveloped to provide tranquility in an urban landscape.

The site boasts interconnecting ponds, an outdoor classroom and the surrounding tidal river attracts flocks of waders such as Redshank, when the mud is exposed at low tide.

The site was first Green Flag accredited in July 2007.

Myddelton House Gardens

Myddelton House Gardens have been undergoing a restoration since 1984 in the ‘style’ of E.A. Bowles, the renowned plantsman who created them.

A grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund intitiated a two year project to restore several areas of the gardens to their former glory. This included restoration works, renovations to the Kitchen Garden and the creation of a visitors centre and café, which opened in April 2011. The gardens boast an impressive range of flora and fauna and are also home to a National Collection of Dyke Medal winning Iris (the highest award given to Iris).

The gardens were first Green Flag accredited in July 2008.

Tottenham Marshes

Located just six miles from the centre of London, Tottenham Marshes is a mosaic of trees, shrubs, rough grassland and waterways, making it an important wildlife area.

Tottenham Marshes is made up of three main areas, Clendish Marsh, Wild Marsh West and Wild Marsh East.

Channel restoration on site has provided artificial nest sites for Sand Martin and Kingfisher and the glorious grasslands provide a home to a wide variety of plants and animals.
The site was first Green Flag accredited in July 2008.



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