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Blog 24 A Winning Weekend

Blog 24 A Winning Weekend

Green Flag and Green Heritage Awards for 2020/21

An update from Andy Williams, Park Manager for Kensington Gardens and Brompton Cemetry:

It is with great pleasure that I can inform the members of ‘The Friends’ that both Kensington Gardens and Brompton Cemetery were awarded their respective Green Flag Award and Green Heritage Site Accreditation for 2020/21. These awards acknowledge well managed parks and green spaces all over the UK and around the world and set the benchmark standard for the management of recreational outdoor spaces. The sites were judged via a ‘mystery shop’ earlier this summer, rather than the full formal judges visit and tour.

The awards were judged against a wide range of criteria including arboriculture, horticulture, conversation, safety, learning & engagement, heritage, maintenance, access etc.

“This is a tremendous achievement given the circumstances we have all endured this year and testament to the hard work and commitment of my team and all our on-site partner contractors. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all that you and your teams bring to enhance and improve the experience for our many visitors. Undoubtedly the Park and Cemetery have been especially vital as places for relaxation, exercise, health and well-being this year. In addition, our success is a function of the collective contributions of many, many people and organisations including, of course, the expanding role of the Friends of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Your members support is greatly appreciated and I am so very pleased to note the success of emerging volunteer activities.”

Andy Williams
Park Manager for Kensington Gardens and Brompton Cemetery

Andy wanted to emphasise that the award was entirely down to a team effort which includes all the gardeners and maintenance teams but sadly because of lock down we ran out of photographic opportunities to include more of them.

The London Tree and Woodland Awards for 2020/21

The London Tree and Woodland Awards are now in their 12th year and celebrate the work of individuals, communities and professionals to protect, improve and expand the capital’s tree and woodland cover. Each year, the awards showcase the fantastic work taking place all over the city to protect and increase London’s urban forest.


Another winner to congratulate is Greg Packman. He thoroughly deserves the ACORN AWARD for his commitment to volunteering and community engagement.

Greg used to be part of the Royal Parks team which looks after the trees in both Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens before being head hunted by Islington Council to look after their private sector tree consultancy.

Many members have met Greg on one of the ‘tree walks’ he led for us. The first, I remember, in Kensington Gardens on one of the hottest days of the year and focussed on ancient and rare specimens. The second on the wettest (well it seemed like it) day in Hyde Park and the third on South Flower Walk. This last walk he gamely did three times over with small groups as the others were concentrating on either the Albert Memorial Undercroft or getting very close to the Parnassus Frieze.

In the South Flower Walk on that day he scared us (well he did me) of the horrors of the “Headache Tree”. I’m not saying which one, just don’t pick any leaves in that area.

Congratulation Greg, you’ve been so generous with your time and energy to dozens of groups all over London and we have learnt more about trees than we ever thought possible.

We really look forward to being able to walk with you again and may be, sometime soon, we can arrange for you to talk to us online.

Do watch the You tube video below explaining this award to Greg Click Here

The London Tree and Woodland Awards are now in their 12th year and celebrate the work of individuals, communities and professionals to protect, improve and expand the capital’s tree and woodland cover. Each year, the awards showcase the fantastic work taking place all over the city to protect and increase London’s urban forest.

Lockdown London Tree Champions awards

This year there was a public vote on these awards, a first for the London Tree and Woodland Awards! During lockdown the local environment became an important part of our lives; providing a space to exercise, reflect, recharge and connect with nature.

The awards nomination panel selected 3 excellent examples of projects that have inspired the local community to appreciate the trees around them, raising their profile and benefits to help with our health and wellbeing.
The Urban Tree Festival won the London Lockdown Champion award! This is important for The Parks team and is a great way of building support for future festivals

Greg Packman
Senior Tree Inspector in Islington

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