Wormwood Scrubs Given Green Flag Award

Further improvements planned at 77-hectare open space

A kite flying above Wormwood Scrubs
A kite flying above Wormwood Scrubs

July 25, 2023

Wormwood Scrubs has been given Green Flag status by the Keep Britain Tidy Trust. It is a quality mark for parks and green spaces and reflects the hard work of staff and volunteers who protect and maintain the area.

The 77-hectare green space received the top award after judges found it met strict criteria for the best parks in the country.

Wormwood Scrubs is championed by the Friends group who aim to protect its natural beauty and biodiversity. The Scrubs hosts 100 species of birds and 250 species of wildflowers and the Friends group run regular bird walks and butterfly counts.

Hammersmith & Fulham Council has spent nearly £200,000 of grant money on improvements to the Scrubs.

It joins other local parks in the area that already had the designation including Cathnor Park, Hammersmith Park, Ravenscourt Park, Wendell Park and Wormholt Park. Overall 21 sites in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham now have the reward.

Keep Britian Today is licenced by the government to manage the scheme in the UK and overseas. Over 2,000 parks have Green Flag status which is obtained after ‘secret shoppers’ who are industry professionals inspect those applying for accreditation looking at both the open space itself and the owner’s management plan. Criteria that are used to grant a Green Flag include how welcoming and secure the place is, environmental management including the encouragement of biodiversity and the level of community involvement.

“Wormwood Scrubs – although it’s very large – is a community, a mix of many communities,” said Stephen Waley-Cohen, Chairman of the Friends of the Scrubs Trustees.

“We have the sports players – the footballers and others. We have runners, dog walkers, the bird lovers and the people who just like the solitude and the privacy.”

There are sports pitches from Gaelic football to baseball, plus space to fly kites and picnic as well as a pony centre and the Linford Christie Outdoor Sports Centre.

“It’s also the only place in the borough – and one of very few in London – where model airplane flying is permitted, so we have that community too,” added Mr Waley-Cohen.

“We organise a number of events – The next one coming up is our second annual dog show on Sunday 30 July,” he explained. “And of course, everyone should join the Friends of the Scrubs – it’s free.”

“We are absolutely delighted that Wormwood Scrubs has been awarded our 21st Green Flag,” said Cllr Alex Sanderson, H&F Cabinet Member for Children and Education, and Chair of Wormwood Scrubs Charitable Trust.

“It’s a real testament to the hard work and dedication of our Parks team, the local Friends group and everyone who takes part in making Wormwood Scrubs really special.

“Building on the success of the Green Flag award, we’ve got a whole raft of improvements that we’re going to be making to Wormwood Scrubs.

“We’ve already started to put paths in to improve accessibility, and we’ve got a load of biodiversity measurements to improve the ecology of the area. And we’re working with the Friends group to make sure the Scrubs remains a really special place for everyone to come, visit and enjoy.”

Green Flag Award Scheme Manager Paul Todd MBE said, “I would like to congratulate everyone involved on achieving a Green Flag Award.

“All our winners provide vital green space for communities, bring people together and create opportunities to lead healthy lifestyles. The staff and volunteers do so much to ensure these precious parks and green spaces maintain the high standards of the Green Flag Award and everyone involved should feel extremely proud of their achievement.”

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