Erewash celebrates more success

Erewash Borough Council is celebrating more success this week with news that it has added to its achievements in the prestigious Green Flag awards.
The national award has been retained at Ilkeston’s Victoria Park, Straw’s Bridge Local Nature Reserve, West Hallam and West Park, Long Eaton – while a fourth, first-time award has been gained for Ilkeston’s Pioneer Meadows Local Nature Reserve.
Victoria Park has also been honoured in today’s announcement with a Green Heritage Award, which is granted to a Green Flag site that is deemed to be of local or national historic interest, or contains features of historic interest. 
This latest success comes just two weeks after the park scooped the national Horticulture Week Custodian Award for Best Heritage Park, beating other heritage contenders from across the country.
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
“What a summer of success this has been for Erewash! We now have four Green Flags in our borough and the best of the best heritage awards keep coming home to Victoria Park. It is a tremendous achievement all round and means the four sites are rightly confirmed as among the best in the country.
“We are thrilled that Pioneer Meadows has achieved the success for the first time and all four awards are testament to the hard work of our dedicated team who work all year round to manage these sites. We also send out a very big thank you to the volunteers, the Friends Group members and the local community who enthusiastically help us to maintain and further develop the popular sites.”
Pioneer Meadows is a popular Local Nature Reserve and regular visitors include children from Dallimore Junior School who use the site for Forest School activities and recently took part in an Eco Day at the site.  The council’s network of Tree Wardens also carry out regular volunteering tasks on the site which includes cutting back vegetation and thinning of the woodland areas.
West Park is the largest in Erewash at 127 acres and offers an extensive range of sports and recreational facilities including an outdoor gym trail, a skatepark, a splashpad water park, bowls, tennis and football and cricket.
Victoria Park dates back to 1896 and its national award this month is a salute to the major heritage project that has restored its key Victorian features thanks to a £740,800 National Lottery grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Straw’s Bridge Local Nature Reserve features three ponds that are surrounded by woodland, scrub, meadow and wetland – while it is also connected to the Nutbrook Trail. It attracts many types of birds but is particularly famous for its swans, leading to its affectionate nickname ‘Swan Lake’.
The Green Flag award is the benchmark national standard for England and Wales and is presented to high quality parks, green spaces and nature reserves that have excellent facilities and are well-maintained and well-managed.