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Green Flag Awards Give Cornwall Something to Boast About

Ten Cornish parks and gardens are raising the Green Flag Award over their properties in 2012 after being nationally recognized as some of the very best green public spaces in the UK.
Ten Cornish parks and gardens are raising the Green Flag Award over their properties in 2012 after being nationally recognized as some of the very best green public spaces in the UK. The award is given to exceptionally well-managed, high quality public spaces which are free for everyone to use. At a time when council budgets are being challenged, these awards are particularly credit-worthy. Nominated parks are judged on cleanliness, safety, community involvement, management and conservation issues.

What is most remarkable is that five of the ten awards are in the Falmouth area. The Queen Mary Gardens, Gyllyngdune Gardens, Kimberley Park and Swanpool Nature Reserve in Falmouth along with the Chyan Community Field at Longdowns all received this prestigious award. The other five winners were Bude Canal and Marshes, Kit Hill in the Tamar Valley, Morrab Gardens, Tuckingmill Valley Park at Camborne and Bodmin Beacon Nature Reserve.

Swanpool Nature Reserve received a Community Green Flag Award along with the Chyan Community Field, which is a space used for growing organic food on allotments as well as having a tea shed, sensory garden and areas for education, engaging with nature and play. Swanpool is a naturally created brackish pool where more than 100 bird species have been seen. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and common mallards, coots and moorhens are visited by tufted ducks, siskin and even the odd rare kingfisher.

Queen Mary Gardens and the Gyllyngdune Gardens in Falmouth are both managed by Cornwall Council. The Queen Mary Gardens are right beside the beach at Gyllyngvase and were created to mark the coronation of George V and Queen Mary in 1912. The climate favours the tropical plantings which include giant gunnera, a rhubarb-like plant, along with palms and proteas. At the end of the gardens there are views of ships moored at the entrance to Falmouth Harbour.

Bodmin Beacon Local Nature Reserve received the award for the fifth consecutive year, making it one of the best in the country. The nature reserve is centred around the 144 foot high Gilbert’s Monument, a local landmark. Bodmin town councilor Phil Kerridge urged everyone to enjoy the nature reserve by saying, “For the naturalist the wildlife on the Beacon is totally special. For the general visitor if you’ve missed the stunning views across the moor and mid Cornwall then you’ve missed something of Cornwall that you really shouldn’t.” There are walking trails and picnic spots amidst local wildlife that includes the Greater Butterfly Orchid and many butterfly species.

Morrab Gardens in Penzance was another happy winner of the Green Flag Award, rewarding the high standards of excellence that mark this park out as being above the rest. The park features a bandstand, fountain and a Victorian glasshouse amidst the subtropical plantings.

With award-winning self-catering accommodation close to all these public green spaces, it is another good reason why visitors return time and again to enjoy all that award-winning Cornwall has to offer.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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