Watford is once again leading the county in green flag awards given for parks and open spaces.

Seventeen green spaces were given an award to recognise the work of the council and Veolia to keep the spaces useable for residents. 

There have been many projects in Watford to ensure parks and playgrounds remain clean, safe and accessible for the public, such as Cassiobury Park's restoration project and the creation of the Oxhey Activity Park.

Darren Harding, senior contract manager at Veolia, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have retained the 17 green flags.

Watford Observer: The mayor is thrilled so many parks have been given green flag statusThe mayor is thrilled so many parks have been given green flag status (Image: Watford Borough Council)

"The awards are so important for recognising the value of our parks and green spaces to both biodiversity and people’s health and wellbeing."

Other projects included playgrounds at Harwoods and Harebreaks, biodiversity and accessibility improvements at Meriden Park and Lea Farm Recreational Ground, as well as a new Learn-to-Ride track at the King George V Playing Fields. 

Both Cassiobury Park and Oxhey Activity Park were recognised by Keep Britian Tidy when they were nominated in the top 10 parks in the UK.

Watford mayor Peter Taylor said: “When I speak to residents, many of them tell me that our fantastic parks and green spaces are one of the things they love most about Watford.

“I want to thank Veolia staff and the ‘Friends of’ groups who do so much to keep our parks in a good condition.

"When I was elected, I committed to even more investment to improve our parks, and we are continuing to make improvements at Oxhey Activity Park, Meriden Park, Woodside Playing Fields and Lea Farm Recreation Ground.”

Future improvements will include planting more trees across the town and proposals to provide Woodside with a sports village with facilities for football, cricket and boxing.

Dean Russell, Watford MP, expressed his pride in the town's green spaces.

He said: "Our parks and green spaces are so well used by local residents, and I enjoy supporting events such as helping with the annual Mencap 10k and the Peace Garden to celebrate the achievements over the past decade.

"It is great to see Watford receiving the highest number of green flags in Hertfordshire, and also one of the highest in the country. I encourage local residents to enjoy the summer months and beyond in our internationally accredited parks’."

Watford areas that were granted green flag status were:

  • Callowland Recreation Ground
  • Cassiobury Park
  • Cheslyn House and Gardens
  • Garston Park
  • Goodwood Recreation Ground
  • Harwoods Recreation Ground
  • KGV Playing Fields
  • Lea Farm Rec
  • North Watford Cemetery
  • Orchard Park
  • Oxhey Activity Park
  • Oxhey Grange/Watford Heath
  • Oxhey Park
  • Paddock Road Allotments
  • St Mary’s Churchyard
  • Waterfields Recreation Ground
  • Woodside Playing Fields