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Royal seal of approval for green spaces

Coun Peter Mullineaux with the six plaques awarded to South Ribble parks

Coun Peter Mullineaux with the six plaques awarded to South Ribble parks

Parks across South Ribble have won royal protection for the future.

Six parks were given the royal seal of approval as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, and will now display plaques to show their achievements.

The plaques, due to be mounted on sandstone, will soon be displayed at Much Hoole Playing Fields, Middleforth Green Park, Farington Park, Croston Manor, Gregson Lane Playing Field and Withy Grove Park.

South Ribble Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for neighbourhoods and streetscene said he was “delighted” protection had been secured.

Coun Peter Mullineaux said: “Recreational spaces are at the heart of our communities in South Ribble and I am delighted that we have secured protection for the future use of six different sites across the borough.

“What’s more is that community groups who use these areas can now bid for funding that wasn’t previously available to them, so now even more local people will benefit from these green spaces.”

The Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge, operated by Fields in Trust, was launched to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee and also the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.

The campaign set out to protect outdoor recreational spaces in communities across the UK as a permanent living legacy of the sporting events.

It also hoped to ensure access for all to grassroots sporting facilities.

A range of outdoor spaces, from sports pitches to woodlands, children’s play areas to gardens and bike trails, were eligible for the award and for protection from redevelopment.

More than 1,500 sites were nominated for the challenge and South Ribble Council gained recognition at six sites across the borough.

Each site now has permanent protection as a tribute to the historic sporting events of 2012 and 2014, and community groups attached to the fields will be able to bid for funds only available to sites with the QEII Fields protection.

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