30 July 2014

Top award for The Level

The project to transform The Level has been given the final seal of approval.

The park has been awarded a prestigious Green Flag, taking its place as one the finest parks and open spaces in the country.

The award brings the number of Green Flags flying in the Brighton and Hove parks to seven - the highest ever awarded in the city.

Easthill Park, Hove Park, Kipling Gardens, Preston Park, St Ann’s Well Gardens and Stoneham Park have also been awarded Green Flags for excellence.

Councillor Lizzie Deane, deputy chair of the environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “Being awarded a Green Flag for The Level really is the icing on the cake for our £2.3 million restoration project.

“It shows that not only have we transformed the area into a safe and inviting recreation space for families, we have also met the highest standards for maintenance and facilities.

“It’s fantastic news that we have increased the number of green flag parks and open spaces in the city to seven, and will once again be flying flags in parks in Brighton, Hove, Portslade and Rottingdean - a real city-wide success story.”

St Ann’s Well Gardens in Hove flies the flag for the 15th year, while Preston Park celebrates a 14th successive year. Easthill Park in Portslade has picked up its 12th award, Hove Park is celebrating a tenth success while Kipling Gardens in Rottingdean has won its seventh award, while Stoneham Recreation Ground in West Hove picked up its fifth award.

All Brighton & Hove’s parks are managed in-house by the city council.

The Level restoration project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund with a further contribution from Veolia Environmental Trust. Residents are involved in the management and maintenance with gardening groups currently being set up.

“Access to good quality open space is especially important in our densely populated city where many people don’t have private gardens,” added Councillor Deane.

“From the smaller spaces, like Kipling Gardens in Rottingdean, to the large municipal parks such as Preston Park, our dedicated staff work tirelessly to make sure that the quality is maintained and our parks and gardens are a pleasure to visit all year round.”

The national awards, handed out by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, recognise and reward the best parks and green spaces across the country. The Green Flags, which will fly in Brighton & Hove Parks, are only given to parks with the highest possible standards which are beautifully maintained with excellent facilities.

Keep Britain Tidy’s Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “We are delighted to announce yet another record-breaking year for Green Flag Award parks and green spaces.

“A Green Flag Award provides national recognition for all the parks managers, staff and volunteers who, through their dedication and hard work, have helped to create these fantastic places for everyone to enjoy.

“Quality green spaces are a vital resource for communities and that is why it is so significant that we have given out more awards than ever before.”