Record-breaking year for council’s upkeep of some of country’s best green spaces

Amber Valley Borough Council’s beautiful green spaces are enjoying a record-breaking year after retaining a coveted international award.

Eight of the borough’s parks and open spaces have been recognised as some of the best in the country, after being bestowed with the prestigious Green Flag Award 2023.

This gives the local authority the highest number of green spaces in Derbyshire to have achieved this sought-after accolade.

The parks and open spaces achieving the award are Belper Cemetery, Belper Park’s Local Nature Reserve, Belper River Gardens, Crays Hill Queen Elizabeth II Playing Fields, in Swanwick, Crossley Park, in Ripley, Heanor Memorial Park, Pennytown Ponds Local Nature Reserve, in Somercotes, and Riddings Park.

The news that these sites have achieved the accreditation – the international quality mark for publicly accessible parks and open spaces – is testament to the hard work and dedication of the teams and volunteers that care for the Amber Valley’s green spaces.

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 quality standard for the management of green spaces across the UK and around the world.

Councillor John McCabe, Amber Valley Borough Council’s cabinet member for the environment, said: “It’s such a privilege to announce this great news, of holding the eight Green Flag Awards throughout the borough.

“It proves that with the hard work and dedication of the council staff, volunteer groups and other supporting organisations, we can achieve great results and offer these welcoming environments for everyone to enjoy.

“Each site offers something for everyone with varying activities, including exploring historic graves, enjoying the peace and tranquillity of the surroundings, exploring wildlife, play and adventure, boating and fishing, dog walks and picnics, volunteering and events or just catching up with local people – the list goes on.”

He added: “I personally love to visit my local green spaces and take a moment to reflect on my younger years playing with friends and family, and to see the smiles and joy on our visitors’ faces is what it’s all about.

“I extend my heartfelt thanks to all involved in making our open spaces a pleasure to enjoy.”

Paul Todd MBE, Keep Britain Tidy’s Green Flag Award Scheme manager, said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved with all eight sites in achieving a Green Flag Award.

“Each site is a vital green space for the community in Amber Valley, bringing people together and providing opportunities to lead healthy lifestyles.

“The staff and volunteers do so much to ensure that the spaces maintain the high standards of the Green Flag Award and everyone involved should feel extremely proud of their achievement.”

To find out more about the council’s award-winning parks and gardens, visit