Croydon is celebrating as Happy Valley has received the Special Award for Innovation from the Green Flag Award Scheme.
The 252-acre green space in Coulsdon is one of just fifteen inspirational parks and green spaces in the UK to achieve the award. It is presented to Green Flag Award or Community Award-winning sites that have made changes which have brought outstanding benefits to both themselves and the local community.
The award was given to Happy Valley in recognition of a new hi-tech nature trail which enables visitors to learn about the wildlife and history of Happy Valley and the adjoining City of London Corporation owned open space, Farthing Downs.
Walkers can scan QR codes on their mobile device as they walk around the site, opening up web pages that tell them more about the local environment. The trail can also be followed using the GPS feature on visitors’ smartphones.
Following the news of the award, Councillor Timothy Godfrey, said:
“We’re delighted to receive this accolade. This project was brought about by a partnership between the owners of the two open spaces, Croydon Council and the City of London Corporation.
“I’d like to extend our thanks to Dominic North, the countryside warden for the site, who works for Croydon’s grounds maintenance contractor, Idverde Ltd. He worked with the Friends of Farthing Downs to ensure the trail will be a great asset for visitors.
“Families, school parties, and anyone with an interest in the wildlife and history of this wonderful area of open countryside can now easily find out more than ever before about the nature and history of the area.”
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport
Allan Cameron, Head Ranger at the City of London Corporation’s City Commons said: “This award highlights the excellent partnership between the City of London Corporation and Croydon Council.
“We hope that the hi-tech nature trail will enable visitors to learn more about these fascinating open spaces and indeed encourage more people to visit and enjoy them.”
Paul Todd, Green Flag Award Scheme manager said: “Congratulations to everyone involved in the Happy Valley and Farthing Downs nature trail, a worthy winner of the Special Innovation Award. Research has proved that quality parks and green spaces play a vital role within their local communities. Happy Valley is a perfect example of this.”