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Gostrey Meadow wins Green Flag award

Line of people with a green flag flying the background.

Gostrey Meadow has been awarded a Green Flag award for the first time, just two years after Farnham Town Council took on the management of the park.

The Green Flag is an international mark of quality which aims to raise the standards of parks and green spaces around the world. Fifty per cent of the mark was based on improvements Farnham Town Council has already made and 50 per cent was for the Council’s ten year management plan which details how it will ensure people continue to have access to this quality green space and that it is properly maintained and meets the needs of the community.

Councillor Sally Dickson, Lead Member for Community Enhancement says: “This is a first for Gostrey Meadow and a first for Farnham Town Council. To achieve this standard just two years after taking over the management of Gostrey Meadow is fantastic. It’s a testament to the dedication of the staff who work incredibly hard across all of our public spaces, and an endorsement of the council’s vision to make Gostrey Meadow an excellent green space for all the community.” She adds: “It is all the more of an achievement when you consider that much of the work to date took place in the backdrop of the pandemic.”

Farnham Town Council took on management of Gostrey Meadow in 2019 from Waverley Borough Council. As well as putting in place an ambitious management plan, the Council set up a Friends group which helps with day to day volunteering activities. 

Central to the Town Council’s approach to managing the park has been to provide a natural outdoor space that local people can easily access and enjoy, and that plays an important part of life of the town. As a result, Gostrey Meadow has been the natural choice for numerous community events, including cultural, heritage and educational activities.

Farnham Town Council points to Music in the Meadow, the Sustainability Festival and Remembrance Day as examples of the importance of Gostrey Meadow to Farnham’s community, as well as ensuring good access so that people with disabilities and older people can enjoy full use of the park. Gostrey Meadow also makes an important contribution to biodiversity and environmental sustainability, which many residents will have seen through Farnham in Bloom activities.  

All of this takes place alongside maintaining high standards of horticultural practice, tree care, maintenance of buildings and facilities, which enhance the character and overall landscape of the park.

Gostrey Meadow was officially opened as a park in 1910 after improvements and donations were made to overhaul a previously neglected area of wasteland. It had originally been land owned by the Bush Hotel but fell into disrepair after the estate was broken up. 

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