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    Harlow’s Parndon Wood Nature Reserve awarded Green Flag for seventh year running

    One of the jewels in Harlow’s crown has been included in a list of the best-kept green spaces in the country for the seventh year running.

    Parndon Wood Nature Reserve will once again be able to fly a prestigious Green Flag presented by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.

    The site has been recorded as a woodland for at least 900 years and first became a local nature reserve in 1974. It was later designated a Special Site for Scientific Interest because of its flora and value as an educational resource.

    Set on the southern outskirts of the town, it is maintained by Harlow Council and volunteers and is open to the public all year round. Environmental charity ECCO manages the reserve’s conservation centre and runs community activities as part of a partnership agreement. It is one of 1,582 sites across the UK which have been judged worthy of a flag this year.

    Cllr Mark Wilkinson, Harlow Council’s portfolio holder for environment, said: “This is another excellent achievement for Parndon Wood Nature Reserve and it’s great to see all the hard work that council officers, volunteers and ECCO put in pay off.

    “Hundreds of children and families take part in community events at the reserve and these play a vital role in improving people’s health and wellbeing in Harlow. This award recognises and highlights that people in the town continue to benefit from a green open space of the very highest quality.”

    Flags are presented to parks and green spaces which are judged to have been managed to the highest possible standards and which offer visitors excellent facilities.

    An army of more than 700 “green space experts” visit sites carry out assessments against eight strict criteria including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement.

    A flag-raising ceremony will take place at Parndon Wood next month.

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