The City of London Corporation has won Green Flag status at 15 of its open spaces.
The prestigious scheme recognises parks and other green spaces as some of the very best managed sites in the world.
The international award, run by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, and overseen by a panel of expert judges, is now into its third decade.
The City Corporation is a major green spaces provider in London and south east England.
It protects over 11,000 acres of open space in London and south east England – including Burnham Beeches, Epping Forest, and Hampstead Heath – and over 200 smaller ones in the Square Mile, investing over £38m a year.
They remove an estimated 16,000 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere every year, equivalent to 44% of the City Corporation’s annual carbon footprint.
These sites, most of which are charitable trusts, are run at little or no cost to the communities that they serve.
They include important wildlife habitats, Special Areas of Conservation, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and National Nature Reserves. They are protected from being built on by special legislation.
The winners are:
City of London Cemetery and Crematorium
Farthing Downs & New Hill
West Ham Park
West Wickham Common
Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Open Spaces and City Gardens Committee, Caroline Haines, said:
“These awards are testament to the hard work and dedication of our world-class staff and volunteers.
“I am so proud of everything they do to keep our green spaces in top condition for our millions of visitors.
“These sites are a crucial part of our Carbon Removals Project, which helps to remove carbon from the atmosphere by creating new wildlife habitats across our open spaces.
“They have been a lifeline to so many people during the pandemic and they are rightly treasured by local communities and international visitors alike.”
14 City Corporation sites also claimed the Green Heritage accreditation in recognition of their historic features and the high standard of conservation.