Green Flag glory for village playing field near Garstang

A small Lancashire playing field has been recognised nationally for being outstanding, thanks to the ambition of its local parish council.

By Fiona Finch
Thursday, 14th October 2021, 3:45 pm

Today a Green Flag, a renowned quality mark, was unfurled at the Queen Elizabeth II Playing Field at Catterall, near Garstang.

It was the culmination of a six year project which has seen the land off Garstang Road transformed from mostly grassland to a facility providing attractions for all ages, including three play areas for different age groups, a football pitch, a fitness trail, seating, a pergola and planted areas.

The award is the international quality mark for parks and green spaces and delighted Parish Councillor Jan Finch, who led the work to develop the playing field on behalf of Catterall Parish Council, said: “ It's just a lovely space. We are proud to have achieved the standard for the Green Flag Award after all the years of work by not only Catterall Parish Council staff and councillors, but also Catterall in Bloom volunteers. People tell us how much they value and enjoy this much loved green space and that makes all the work worthwhile.”

The Green Flag pictured flying today at the Queen Elizabeth II playing field off Garstang Road, Catterall

She continued: "We've planted quite a few trees. It's gone from being a field with a dilapidated play area to something for all age groups.We never thought we would do it this quickly, but we were helped with a grant from the European LEADER Rural Development Fund."

A £160,000 award meant, she said, that they could do some of the "big ticket" changes. With other welcome funding Coun Finch said the whole project has cost around £250,000.She added: "The fitness trail, the adventure play area and the wheeled play area were funded by the Rural Development Fund with a small contribution from Sport England for the fitness trail."

Award organisers Keep Britain Tidy said: "After 18 months that have seen our parks and green spaces play a vital role for people through lockdowns as a place to relax, exercise and meet friends and family safely, the news that Catterall Queen Elizabeth II Playing Field has achieved the Green Flag Award is testament to the hard work and dedication of the team that make the green space a great space that everyone can enjoy."

Green Flag Award Scheme Manager Paul Todd said the recognition meant staff and volunteers had: "high standards of horticulture, safety and environmental management" and the Catterall facility was a "place that supports people to live healthy lives.”

The young children's play area was the first redevelopment project

The Green Flag Award scheme is managed by the environmental charity under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. The award recognises and rewards "well-managed parks and green spaces" and sets a benchmark standard for the management of those green spaces.

Catterall Parish Council now hopes to complete the playing field redevelopment by renewing the MUGA (Multi Use Games Area) on the site.

* Any green space that is freely accessible to the public can be entered for a Green Flag Award. Awards are given on an annual basis and winners must apply each year to renew their Flag status.

For more on today's Green Flag awards and local winners see here

Milestone moment - the new young children's play area was officially opened by Preston North and Wyre MP Ben Wallace in April 2017

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A permanent visitor to the playing field
Parish Council chairman Coun Ian Brayshaw trying out the zipwire in 2018 at the official opening of the fitness trail, the adventure play area and the wheeled play area
A willow tunnel walkway and a pergola at the Queen Elizabeth II playing field
The Catterall playing field and its dilapidated play area before redevelopment
The coveted Green Flag awarded to Catterall's Queen Elizabeth II playing field.
Eco friendly log pile at the Queen Elizabeth II Playing Field, Catterall
A decorative path at the Queen Elizabeth II playing fields in Catterall
Part of the Fitness Trail at the Queen Elizabeth II playing field in Catterall