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National Memorial Arboretum receives prestigious Green Flag Award for third consecutive year

The National Memorial Arboretum, within the National Forest in Staffordshire, has been awarded a third consecutive Green Flag Award, a prestigious international quality mark for parks and green spaces. The 150-acre garden and woodland site, home to 415 memorials commemorating the service of the Armed Forces, emergency services and community and voluntary groups, has been recognised alongside 2,216 other locations across the UK as one of the country’s best parks and green spaces.

The Arboretum grounds team had been busy over the past year, ahead of the visit from the Green Flag judges, working to deliver several new projects in addition to maintaining the existing landscape. For example, it is hoped that the recently created Amelanchier walk, planted with support from Barratt Developments, will eventually be recognised as a National Collection of the species.  Meanwhile, the team enhanced the approach to the Arboretum with their contribution to the nationwide Queen’s Green Canopy project. Featuring dozens of new trees and an ornate stone sculpture, the project will complement pedestrian and cycle route connections being developed by Staffordshire County Council to improve visitor accessibility in the future, while enhancing biodiversity around the entrance to the site.

Further steps have also been taken to reduce the Arboretum’s carbon emissions with the continued development of a herb garden. The freshly grown herbs are used within recipes created by the Arboretum’s chefs, and organic food waste is composted when suitable.

Following their visit to the Arboretum, the Green Flag judges commented on the exceptional quality of facilities and the unwavering commitment of the Arboretum team to delivering a world-class visitor experience. They also praised their professionalism and commitment to cross-functional working, stating that it was “a testament to the management and values and behaviours of the organisation”.

“Achieving the Green Flag Award for a third consecutive year is evidence of the hard work and dedication of our incredible team who work relentlessly to keep our grounds in pristine condition, providing a world-class inspirational setting for hundreds of thousands of people to explore each year,” said Andy Ansell, Head of Estates. “As custodians of a beautiful green space that is home to hundreds of memorials dedicated to those who have served the Nation, we are determined to preserve it for future generations by following sustainable estate management practices.”

This year, a record number of 2,216 Green Flag Awards have been presented across the UK, the largest number since the scheme began 27 years ago.

“I would like to congratulate everyone involved at the National Memorial Arboretum in achieving a Green Flag Award,” said Paul Todd, Green Flag Award Scheme Manager. “The staff and volunteers do so much to ensure that it maintains the high standards of the Green Flag Award and everyone involved should feel extremely proud of their achievement.”

The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces. The programme sets the benchmark standard for the management of green spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.

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