Volunteers behind the Friends of Filey’s Parks are celebrating a prestigious Green Flag award for the Crescent and Glen Gardens for 2021/22. The beautiful gardens are maintained by Scarborough Borough Council and the volunteers. The green flag has been awarded many times to Filey, but during these difficult times, the award is all the more special.
The award is overseen by the charity Keep Britain Tidy. The award was began in 1997, an era when many of Britain’s historic gardens and parks were suffering from decades of neglect and under-investment. The intention of the award was to inspire and establish standards of good management, to help to justify funding and to bring people back into the parks.
Undoubtedly, it worked. As the Standard became established, other green spaces began to apply for the Award, and now Green Flags fly over parks, cemeteries and crematoria, recreation grounds, canals, reservoirs, educational campuses, hospital grounds, housing estates, nature reserves and allotments. There is no limit on the size of the site; they currently range from less than one hectare to thousands of hectares. Since 2008 the Green Flag award has become an international standard and now reaches places as diverse as America, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand and the UAE.
The purpose and aims of the Green Flag is:
To ensure that everybody has access to quality green and other open spaces, irrespective of where they live.
To ensure that these spaces are appropriately managed and meet the needs of the communities that they serve.
To establish standards of good management.
To promote and share good practice amongst the green space sector.
To recognise and reward the hard work of managers, staff and volunteers.
The award to Filey describes that gardens thus:
‘Glen and Crescent Gardens is a unique and varied park, of around 14 hectares, situated in a stunning location on the North Yorkshire coast at Filey, in the Borough of Scarborough. The park comprises a great variety of landscapes and benefits from spectacular coastal views. It includes formal gardens with colourful seasonal bedding displays, shrub beds and rockeries, a bandstand and numerous pleasant seating and picnic areas. There are also areas for more active recreation such as children’s play area and open amenity grass for informal ball games as well as a miniature golf course. Other facilities on offer include two cafes, a boating pool, pitch and putt and a go-cart track. Those seeking peace and quiet or wishing to enjoy the local flora and fauna are also well catered for with a wooded valley and further areas of mature woodland.
‘Glen and Crescent Gardens benefits enormously from the support of a strong and active Friends group, and enjoys excellent links with a great many local community organisations. The Friends of Filey Parks hold regular meetings and workdays to assist the park maintenance team as well as to carry out specific projects such as tree, shrub and bulb planting, bird box making and litter picking. There is also a programme of events held in the park throughout the year, especially in the summer season. The park is well loved by residents of Filey and the surrounding area as well as many thousands of visitors every year.’
At the seaside formal gardens have been an essential part of a resort from the middle part of the nineteenth century. Many developed from private gardens belonging to hotels, or an entire street as at Filey, into a floral display of municipal pride. Everything from floral clocks to town crests appeared in a blaze of colour. The merging of councils and cuts to local government funding has caused many gardens to become a shadow of their former selves. But, thankfully not at Filey. The volunteers and gardeners of Scarborough Borough Council should be applauded for the efforts that keep the Crescent and Glen Gardens spick and span throughout the year for visitors and locals alike.