A council-owned country park in Crawley has been recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme as one of the very best in the world.
Buchan Country Park - 170 acres of countryside right on Crawley's doorstep - will today receive a prestigious Green Flag Award for the 7th year in a row.
This international award marks the quality of a park or green space and is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.
Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “Buchan Country Park is an excellent place for walking, watching wildlife or enjoying a picnic and I am pleased it has once again earned the recognition it deserves.
“Special mention must go to all our volunteers who work so hard to maintain and improve Buchan Country Park, without them the park simply wouldn’t be what it is.”
Buchan Country Park, which has also been awarded a TripAdvisor certificate of excellence for 2017, has a number of sculptures dotted around the park, a permanent orienteering course and two-way marked trails that help visitors explore the park.
Animals to look out for include dragonflies, Night Jar, Great-Crested Grebe, Adder, and Grass Snake.
Tom Burns, Countryside Ranger for Buchan Country Park, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive a Green Flag Award for the seventh year.
“We work hard to maintain the park to such a high standard but it is all worth it when we see the pleasure it brings to so many of our local residents – both human and animal.”
Buchan Country Park is designated a Site of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI) and is of national importance for its dragonfly populations. In 1985 the lakes and surrounds were designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme.
“Each flag is a celebration of the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. The success of the scheme, especially in these challenging times, demonstrates just how much parks matter to people.”