On 20th July, #TeamHerts Volunteering had the pleasure in attending and presenting at the Green Flag Award celebration, which was hosted by Dacorum Borough Council. The Mayor of Dacorum, community groups, volunteers, councillors plus Dacorum and Hertfordshire County Council officers all came together to celebrate the Awards ceremony. There were around 100 people in attendance.

Hertfordshire sites are among a record-breaking 1,883 UK parks and greenspaces that received one of the prestigious awards this year from Keep Britain Tidy. Local parks which have been awarded a Green Flag Award for 2018 included Harpenden Common, Lydekker Park, and Rothamsted Park in Harpenden, Chiswell Green’s Greenwood Park, Sopwell Nunnery Green Space in Cottonmill, amongst others. Dacorum gained five Green Flag awards just in their area.

The 22-year old international award marks any public space which can boast the highest environmental standard, maintenance and visitor facilities. To gain the award, green spaces must be welcoming, healthy, secure, well maintained, clean, and have the support and involvement of the local community. However, these spaces would not reach the standard they do, if not for the good work of the volunteers that keep these spaces going.

Dave Renouf, the Green Spaces Manager for Broxbourne Borough Council, says: “In summary, Green Flag is the now international quality award for green spaces and a key and integral part is how the local community are involved. The volunteer involvement can be in many forms ranging from governance/management, fundraising, undertaking events and activities as well as undertaking practical tasks. Without this involvement the site would not only fail to reach the quality standard but would weaken its connection and value to the community that we serve.”

Kat Shepherdson, Project Manager of #TeamHerts Volunteering, gave a presentation to the audience about the value of volunteers, and how #TeamHerts could help other organisations, such as ParksHerts and other green spaces, to recruit and retain the volunteers that will contribute to their work, and may enable them to once again to win the Green Flag Award for another year running.

Are you looking for volunteers to look after your park or green space? Are you a volunteer wanting to get stuck in? 2018 is the Year of Physical Activity (YOPA), which is a yearlong campaign by Herts County Council to get the public moving. There are plenty of volunteering opportunities to get stuck into with your local park, as well as keeping fit and healthy.

Get in touch with us at www.teamherts.org to see how we can help you.