Two Stafford Borough parks have scooped prestigious Britain in Bloom awards.
Stafford’s Victoria Park and Stonefield Park in Stone have been awarded Certificates of Achievement in the Parks in Bloom category of the competition.
Stonefield Park has been awarded Silver-Gilt. This is given to an entrant that has met the judging criteria and objectives with a very high standard throughout and has in one or more areas been exceptionally thorough.
The recipient is considered to be a potential Gold award winner in the future.
Victoria Park has been awarded Silver. This award is for an above average entry, and has met most of the judging criteria and objectives for Britain in Bloom and has displayed the potential to progress to Silver-Gilt award.
It is the latest honour for the parks which both received Green Flag Awards earlier this year. Victoria Park won the Green Flag – given to the best open spaces in the country – for the 10th consecutive year, while Stonefield Park in Stone scooped the award for the first time.
Stonefield Park, located in the heart of Stone, is popular with visitors of all ages. It was opened by Sir Ernest Johnson on the 24 March 1928, containing formal flowerbeds, a bandstand, two tennis courts and a bowling green. With the exception of the bandstand these features still remain today.
The park also benefits from a ‘Friends’ group, set up by the Borough Council, who have helped get it in prime condition, working on everything from flower beds to general repairs and repainting benches.
Awarding Stonefield Park the Silver-Gilt, Britain in Bloom judges described it as “a lovely, clean and tidy community park with colourful floral displays and various shrub areas.”
They also recognised the work of the Friends Group, the volunteers from Stone in Bloom, the carpet bedding display on site that is available for charities and organisations to make a donation towards, and the consideration shown to residents living next to the park.
Victoria Park, which has the River Sow running through its centre, boasts a hugely popular play area, bowling green and aviary amongst other attractions. Packed with families in the summer for the annual Party in the Park, the park was opened in 1908 and has a dedicated ‘Friends’ group who raise awareness of this key heritage site and organise events to promote the area.
Judges described Victoria Park as a “very popular and colourful town Centre Park, with an array of seasonal bedding displays, memorial rose displays and shrub beds, including a sensory garden and tropical greenhouse.”
They also commended the good standard of play facilities on site including the skatepark and very well used water splash facility, the provision of an aviary, the involvement of schools in designing the annual carpet bedding display, the Friends Group, bird and bat boxes on site, planned wildflower bank work, and the planned improvements for the future.
Councillor Mike Smith, Cabinet Member for Leisure at Stafford Borough Council, said: “This is a fantastic achievement. A tremendous amount of hard work is put in to ensure our parks rank among the very best in the country and everyone involved in their upkeep, as well as residents across the Borough, should be proud.”
More information on all borough council-run parks in Stafford is available at www.staffordbc.gov.uk/parks