Country Parks named as two of the best in Britain

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Last Updated: 17 Jul 2019 10:17am

Keep Britain Tidy has announced a record-breaking number of award-winning parks and green spaces for 2019, with Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council’s two country parks, Haysden and Leybourne Lakes, being two of the very best in the UK – and that’s official!

The parks are among a record-breaking 1,970 parks and green spaces that received a prestigious Green Flag Award – the mark of a quality park or green space - on Tuesday 16 July.

The award recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country. A Green Flag flying overhead is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.

Set in a beautiful area of countryside covering about 165 acres in the Medway Valley to the west of Tonbridge, Haysden Country Park includes a children’s play area and a range of habitats such as grassland, freshwater lakes, marshland and woodland, which are home to a wealth of insects, birds and animals.  The park has play sculptures and is also a designated Local Nature Reserve where visitors can explore the nature trails that wind through the park.

Leybourne Lakes Country Park is a 230-acre park located between the towns of Snodland and Larkfield, along the A228, off the Ham Hill roundabout.  Developed from former gravel workings, the Country Park is dominated by a series of lakes that offer both quiet recreation for visitors and a valued sanctuary for a variety of wildlife.  The park is very popular for walking and water sports and has a picnic area, children’s play area, toilets and parking.

Both parks are managed and maintained by Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council with the help of local volunteers who meet regularly to carry out organised tasks like litter picking, coppicing and tree planting.

Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, Cllr Mark Rhodes, says:  “I am so pleased that both of our parks have again been awarded Green Flag Awards by Keep Britain Tidy. This Award recognises and highlights that people in Tonbridge and Malling are benefitting from two green spaces of the very highest quality and I’d like to thank all the volunteer groups, rangers and of course the park’s visitors for helping us to continue to improve and develop the parks.  It’s great to see the Green Flags flying high at Leybourne and Haysden as families enjoy all that the parks have to offer during the summer holidays.”

For more information about Haysden and Leybourne Lakes Country Parks, visit the Council’s website or email leisure.services@tmbc.gov.uk or call 01732 876166.