Six Islington parks have been awarded Green Flag status in the latest round of accolades for the UK’s most beautiful and well-managed green spaces.

Highbury Fields, Caledonian Park, Fortune Street Park, Wray Crescent Open Space and Landseer Gardens have all been newly awarded green flags.

Highbury Fields is Islington’s largest park with children’s playground and Highbury Pool and Fitness Centre. It contains a Designated a Site of Local Importance to Nature as well as being surrounded by some stunning terraces of Georgian and Victorian architecture.

Gillespie Park, Islington’s largest nature reserve with its own eco centre, also retained the green flag it was awarded last year.

Green Flag Community Awards were handed out to Arlington Square Gardens, Mary Tealby Peace Garden in Paradise Park and King Henry’s Walk Gardens.

King Henry’s Walk Garden is a beautiful community space in Newington Green, reclaimed from a derelict site in 2007 and run by volunteers. It has plots for cultivation by residents, who don’t have gardens of their own and is open to the public on Saturday afternoons.

Cllr Rowena Champion, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “As part of our commitment to a cleaner, greener future, Islington Council is determined to ensure that our green spaces are the best they possibly can be, in order to boost ecological diversity and provide a safe space for local people to exercise and relax.”

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She said the awards would not have been possible without the “outstanding efforts” of council staff, conservation volunteers and community groups.

The Green Flag scheme is run by the organisation, Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Lockdown restrictions led many Londoners to use and appreciate their parks like never before, as Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton explained: “This year, more than ever, our parks and green spaces have been a lifeline and we know that millions of people have used them to relax, meet friends, exercise or simply escape for a short time.

“It is testament to the incredible dedication and hard work of parks staff and volunteers that, despite the challenges that went along with record numbers of visitors, Islington Council has achieved the highest international standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”

Read more about this story in the Islington Gazette and find out more about Islington’s parks on the council website.