Cllrs Monk and Collier joined by members of the grounds maintenance team
Kingsnorth Gardens is the latest park in the district to proudly fly the Green Flag after being awarded the prestigious international accolade for the first time.
The popular haven in Folkestone joins the Royal Military Canal, Lower Leas Coastal Park and Radnor Park – all of which are managed by Folkestone & Hythe District Council – in holding the status for 2021/22.
The award is given to green spaces which reach the highest possible environmental standards, are beautifully maintained and have excellent visitor facilities.
Cllr John Collier, F&HDC Cabinet Member for Property Management and Grounds Maintenance, said: “Kingsnorth Gardens has always had a special place in residents’ hearts, but to have its beauty and tranquillity formally recognised in this way for the first time is particularly satisfying.
“We’re proud that four of our parks have received the Green Flag mark of quality this year – it’s the first time we’ve achieved this number. Continuing to deliver quality parks and open spaces for all of the district is high on our list of priorities.
“I would also like to say a massive thank you to our fantastic grounds maintenance team that helps keep our parks looking wonderful throughout the year.”
A short flag-raising ceremony was held at Kingsnorth Gardens yesterday (19 October) to celebrate the achievement. Councillors were joined by pupils and young adults from The Beacon Plus and Folkestone College – both of which have contributed to the area looking its best.
Built Environment students at the college are also planning to install a new pergola in a bright, cheerful red, built in a Japanese style, with a moon gate and seating area as its focal point. This will be a tranquil place for reflection.
Third year student Ciaran Ellen, who came up with the idea for the moon gate, added: “It’s very exciting to have our work rewarded, and I’m looking forward to seeing the gate being put up. I hope that the gate and sundial will make the gardens unique and bring more visitors to the park.”
Kingsnorth Gardens is also home to a number of artworks for this year’s Triennial, organised by Creative Folkestone.
The Green Flag Award scheme is managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy (KBT) and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for their management across the country and the world.
Green Flag Award Scheme Manager Paul Todd said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making these sites worthy of a Green Flag Award.
“To meet the requirements demanded by the scheme is testament to the hard work of the staff and volunteers who do so much to ensure that these sites have high standards of horticulture, safety and environmental management and is a place that supports people to live healthy lives.”
Brockhill Country Park in Saltwood, which is maintained by Kent County Council, has also received the same recognition by retaining its Green Flag Award.