Halesworth park recognised as one of the best for second year running
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Halesworth's Town Park has been recognised as one of the best in the country for the second year running.
The park is among a record-breaking 1,797 UK sites that have received the prestigious Green Flag Award – which recognises the best parks and green spaces across the country.
The flag is a sign to the public that ir boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.
The Town Park was created in 1971/2 by Donald Newby, chairman of Halesworth Urban District Council, from land in part donated by Lady Rugby, widow of John Maffey 1st Baron Rugby. It is situated on riverside lands adjacent to the old Halesworth Navigation Canal and Lock that used to carry commercial goods in flat-bottomed wherries. With their distinctive rust-coloured trapezoid sails, these wherries went to and from Halesworth Quay and Basin, nine miles along the Blyth Valley to the coast at Southwold during the 18th and 19th centuries.
The park is currently owned by Waveney District Council and managed by their contractors Waveney Norse. The many volunteer hours from the Halesworth in Bloom team and GAPPA (Grandparents and Parents Play Association) have created an area that caters for all ages and needs.
Peter Dutton, chairman of Halesworth Town Council, said: 'We are absolutely delighted to receive a Green Flag Award for the second year. It shows just what can be achieved with cooperation and partnership.
'We know how much quality green spaces matter to residents and visitors, and this award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining Halesworth Town Park to such a high standard.'
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The grounds of the Town Park were also formed from part of several notable 19th and 20th century gardens, providing a significant number of mature trees, including beech, willow and London plane. These gardens included that of Hooker House, the birthplace of Joseph Dalton Hooker – plant collector and explorer and a director of Kew after his father, another notable Halesworth resident.
The bicentenary of Joseph's birth this year was celebrated with several events, including the creation of the Joseph Hooker Trail in the park, comprising 15 plants with special associations with Hooker.