Darwin Gardens Millennium Green is one of the best in the country


Keep Britain Tidy announces a record-breaking number of award-winning parks and green spaces for 2013.


Darwin Gardens in Ilkley is one of the very best in the UK – and that’s official.


The Darwin Gardens is among a record-breaking 1,447 parks and green spaces that will today receive a prestigious Green Flag Award.


The national award, handed out by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country. A Green Flag flying overhead is a sign to visitors that the space boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.


Darwin Gardens was established in the year 2000 as a millennium project. It is a registered charity managed by a trust and operated by volunteer trustees with assistance from a contractor and Bradford Council.  It occupies a 2.5 hectare (6 acres) site on the edge of the town, which was formerly a municipal park, and borders the famous Ilkley Moor.  It is named after Charles Darwin, who came to stay at Wells House, an Ilkley spa hotel, in 1859, after sending his famous book ‘The Origin of Species’ to the printers.


Councillor Heathcliffe Bowen, Project Manager for the Trust, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive a Green Flag Award for the second time.


“This Award recognises and highlights that people in Ilkley are benefitting from a green space of the very highest quality.


“In addition to my fellow trustees and the Clerk to the Trust, I would like to thank our contractor, Philip Judd, and the Area Parks and Landscape Service of Bradford Council, for all their efforts in helping to maintain this area for the benefit of residents and visitors of all ages.  I am also grateful to former trustees for their continued support and assistance”.


The record number of awards across the country means more people than ever before will have access to well-managed, quality green space, which is vital to people’s health and wellbeing.


Green Flag Award Scheme Manager Paul Todd said: “We are thrilled to announce yet another record-breaking year for Green Flag Award parks and green spaces.


“A Green Flag Award provides national recognition for the hard work and dedication of all the parks managers, staff and volunteers who have helped to create these fantastic places for all to enjoy.


“Quality green spaces are absolutely essential to happy, healthy communities. They are fundamental to our quality of life, whether in cities, towns or villages. That is why it is so significant that we have given out more awards than ever before.”