Both Grafham and Rutland Water are among the best parks in the country – and that’s official!
The Anglian Water reservoirs have been awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award, a sign to visitors that they are well-maintained and well-managed, with excellent facilities for all the family.
Green flags will be flown at car parks around the two water parks to mark their new status.
A record number of parks and green spaces have received the Green Flag Award this year, ensuring that even more of us now have access to well-managed, high-quality green spaces.
This year, 1,424 parks and green spaces across the country will fly the flag.
Kevin Appleton, Visitor Operations Manager at Anglian Water, said: “We have always felt that our water parks offer something very special, but to have that confirmed and recognised in this way is fantastic.
“Getting the Green Flag Award is also much deserved recognition for all the people who work hard to make these water parks the wonderful attractions for tourists and visitors all year round.
“That’s not just Anglian Water staff, but our partners in the local Wildlife Trusts, the sailing clubs, watersports centres and the local businesses who do so much to enhance these sites.
“The hope is these awards will increase the parks’ profile further and encourage more people to come and see what they have to offer.”
Set in 1,500 acres of beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside, Grafham Water Park offers activities for all the family.
Most of the reservoir and its shoreline has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and the park is a wonderful place for a stroll or picnic. There is also a nature reserve with walkways and bird hides, run for Anglian Water by the Wildlife Trust.
For the more energetic, there are 10 miles of cycle track around the waterline, international trout fishing and water sports facilities and Grafham Water Sailing Club, which caters for all levels of experience.
Rutland Water Park, which has retained its Green Flag for the second consecutive year, is the central attraction in England’s smallest county.
This 4,200 acres site is served by a 25-mile circular track for both walking and cycling, while experts and novices alike can get out and enjoy the water thanks to the Watersports Centre and Sailing Clubs. The reservoir also offers world-class trout fishing and bird watching, while in the summer the nature reserve is home to breeding Ospreys – the first such colony in England for 150 years.
Communities Minister, Andrew Stunell said: “Great parks and green spaces have a huge impact on local communities, providing places to play and relax as well as bringing generations together in a variety of ways. They are fundamental to our quality of life, whether in cities, towns or villages, and the Green Flag Award scheme seeks to help raise the standards of them all.
“The many excellent stories coming from the scheme prove what communities and volunteers can achieve by working together with professionals in our green spaces. Well done to all those involved in creating these inspirational places for everyone to enjoy.”
Paul Todd, Green Flag Award Scheme Manager, said: “We are thrilled to announce yet another record-breaking year for Green Flag Award parks and green spaces.
“A Green Flag Award provides national recognition for the achievements of all those whose hard work and dedication has helped to create these fantastic places for all to enjoy.”