As well as Fairlands Valley Park, the Green Flag Awards, which give national recognition for public and community parks, went to the Town Centre Gardens for the seventh year, and Hampson Park for a third time. A record-breaking 1,797 parks and green spaces across the UK received Green Flag Awards this year.

The jewel in Stevenage’s green space crown - Fairlands Valley Park has long been one of the town’s most visited attractions. Covering more than 120 acres, it includes four lakes, two children’s play areas, a sailing centre and many areas of grassland and woodland.

Hampson Park is 24 acres of attractive parkland accommodating sports pitches, play areas, a skatepark, and a range of successful community events, which have included a nature event and a Teddy Bears Picnic.

Originally developed in the 1960s, the Town Centre Gardens are the primary formal and ornamental public gardens in Stevenage. They were restored in 2011 and are now a busy central green space for residents and visitors as well as a popular venue for events and activities.

To celebrate the Green Flag Awards, Stevenage Borough Council and eight other local authorities in Hertfordshire have set up a new web app called ParksHerts. With more than a hundred flagship parks in Hertfordshire, ParksHerts tailor searches based on who’s going and what people want to do. Once people have decided on a park they can find out about the facilities on offer and then track their walk, learn about their surroundings and even find out where the nearest café is.

Councillor John Gardner, Executive Member for Environment and Regeneration, said: “It is a great honour for us in Stevenage that Fairlands Valley Park has been given a Green Flag Award for the ninth year in a row. Much of this success, and the success of Hampson Park and the Town Centre Gardens, is down to the hard work of council staff, our partners and our brilliant volunteer groups so I would like to say thank you to them.  

“They have made them places to enjoy and I hope to see lots of people enjoying all our parks this summer so make sure you download the ParksHerts app as there’s so much going on.”