A green space looked after by volunteers has been named as one of the best in the UK.
Kettering’s Green Patch in Valley Walk is among a record-breaking 1,686 parks and green spaces to have just received a Green Flag Award.
The award, now celebrating its 20th year, recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country.
A Green Flag flying overhead is a sign to members of the public that the space boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.
Kate Williams from Groundwork Northamptonshire, which has been managing the Green Patch since 2007, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive a Green Flag Award for the Green Patch for the first time from Keep Britain Tidy.
“This award recognises and highlights that people in Kettering are benefiting from a green space of the very highest quality.
“We are over the moon about this prestigious award for the Green Patch in Kettering.
“We are passionate and enthusiastic about the Green Patch and the wonderful volunteers that help make it so successful.
“This award is hard to achieve so we are very excited that we have been presented with it.
“We have built the Green Patch through working in conjunction with the local communities and businesses so if you are interested in helping to further our success please contact us.
“We have a vibrant Facebook page that is updated daily with photos etc of what we are up to here, please take a look.”
Before Groundwork Northamptonshire took it on, the Green Patch was a site that was barely used and struggling for volunteers and customers.
But its transformation has seen it turned into a thriving hub which supports a number of different projects, including after-school clubs for mainstream and disabled children, young people and adult employment programmes and supported adult volunteering.
The Green Patch sees more than 100 adults and children come through the gates every week and it is supported by a range of funders and partners.
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, especially as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the awards.
“All the flags flying this year are a testament to the efforts of the thousands of men and women, both staff and volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”
The Green Flag Awards scheme is run by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.