National recognition for historic Ipswich parks

Two of the most historic parks in Ipswich have retained their prestigious Green Flag Awards.

Christchurch Park has won the accolade for the ninth time, while Holywells wins for the sixth time.

The national award, which is handed out by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces in the country.

The Green Flags were officially unfurled by the Mayor of Ipswich, Councillor Roger Fern at ceremonies along with representatives of the groups set up to support the borough’s management of the parks.

Both parks have been largely restored over the last decade thanks to significant grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund – and they are now attracting more visitors and are hold more special events than ever.

Phil Smart, Ipswich Council’s Parks portfolio-holder, said: “These latest awards show what fantastic parks we have and that is down to the hard work of our staff, Friends groups and volunteers.”

The recent restoration of Holywells Park has seen the re-opening of the Conservatory of the former Holywells Mansion which was demolished more than half a century ago and the creation of a new visitor centre in the stable block.