The Forest of Marston Vale is once again raising a Green Flag Award at its Millennium Country Park site in Marston Moretaine, as it scoops the prestigious prize for the fifteenth year in a row.

The award is the international quality mark for outstanding parks and green spaces with high standards of horticulture, safety and environmental management.

Commenting on the news that Millennium Country Park has achieved the Green Flag Award standard, Forest of Marston Vale Head Ranger Anna Charles said:

“We are delighted and proud to have received this national recognition again this year.

The last 18 months have shown us how important access to green space really is for good physical and mental wellbeing. Whilst we were all being encouraged to meet outdoors, the Park provided a place for local people to walk or exercise, and became a safe space to relax and reconnect with loved ones.

Our success is a testament to the hard work done by the whole team, but huge thanks must also go to the many members of the public and our dedicated volunteers whose support over the years has been invaluable.”

The Millennium Country Park spans 225 hectares and is a mix of woodlands, open water, meadows and reed bed as well as a Wetlands Nature Reserve and trail. It sits at the heart of the Forest of Marston Vale, between Bedford and Milton Keynes.

Open all year round, the Park offers space for a range of leisure activities like walking or wildlife watching, as well as more active pursuits like cycling and horse riding. The Forest Centre visitor centre also hosts a series of family and seasonal events throughout the year, as well as having a café and gift shop open daily and public facilities like toilets, changing facilities and a Refill Bedford water station.

The site is managed by a team of four rangers, led by Head Ranger Anna. They are assisted by a team of volunteers who carry out a huge range of essential activities from administration to practical conservation tasks, tree planting and helping to run events. As well as Millennium Country Park, the team also manage green space in the form of 12 Community Woodlands across the Forest of Marston Vale.

The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of green spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.

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