Ellington Park in Ramsgate has been awarded Green Flag and Green Heritage Site status.
The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by charity Keep Britain Tidy, recognises and rewards well managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of recreational outdoor spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.
Ellington Park is one of 2,208 UK winners and it is the first time that a Green Flag Award has been given to a public park within the district of Thanet.
In 2021 Ellington Park was restored through a partnership agreement between The Friends of Ellington Park and Thanet District Council. The restoration was supported by £1.8million funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund through the Parks for People programme.
The project was a sympathetic regeneration of the park, ensuring its important heritage remained at its heart. A new multipurpose café and toilet building was created, along with a children’s playground and improved access to the park’s miniature railway. The historic pathways, flint terrace and balustrade were restored, as well as the 120-year-old bandstand, which remains a key heritage feature and centrally-located performance hub.
After two years that have seen 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 Ellington Park 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.
Ellington Park has also achieved the Green Heritage Site Accreditation, supported by Historic England, for the management of its historic features.
The Friends of Ellington Park said: “We are so pleased that Ellington Park has been given this award. It is an amazing achievement and following the wonderful regeneration of the park, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, it acknowledges the hard work of all the parties involved in making Ellington Park a beautiful open space to be enjoyed by all.”
Committee member Julie Wing added: “We are so pleased, it is a major achievement. Thank you to everyone involved, especially our hardy bunch of volunteers.”
This morning Grant Burton, from Thanet council’s asset team, said: “We have plenty of Blue Flags so it is really nice to now have a Green Flag and really important that we have this special park for the public.”
Ramsgate mayor Raushan Ara added: “I’d like to say thank you to the volunteers, especially Bev Perkins, for all the community support, thank you to Thanet council, to the National Lottery and also to our Ramsgate Town Council technicians who are always here helping out.
“I am very proud that we have a Green Flag for Ellington Park and Ramsgate and hope people will use the park as much as possible to visit and for all the events held here.”
Cllr George Kup, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, added: “This award recognises the great work that can be achieved through strong community partnerships. It is great to see local residents and visitors really embracing the new facilities alongside the heritage elements of the park, in what is now a true hub for the community.
“I would like to congratulate the Friends of Ellington Park for this achievement, along with council officers, the Landscape Architects, Allen Scott; Architects, Clague; and Project Manager, Contract Administrator and Quantity Surveyor, Woodley Coles, whose combined efforts have resulted in an award-winning park.“
Keep Britain Tidy’s Accreditation Manager Paul Todd said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making Ellington Park worthy of a Green Flag Award.
“Ellington Park is a vital green space for the community in Ramsgate. This award is testament to all the hard work of staff and volunteers, who do so much to ensure that it maintains the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”
Green Flag status has also been awarded to Pegwell Bay Country Park which is managed by Kent County Council as part of the wider Sandwich and Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve (SPA, SAC, SSSI) in partnership with Kent Wildlife trust, Thanet District Council, Dover District Council, RSPB and the National Trust.
Ellington Park is 128 years old with the late Victorian and Edwardian landscaped area across 13 acres.
The park’s history began in 1892 when the Ellington Estate passed into the ownership of the Ramsgate Corporation, now Thanet District Council, as a place of public recreation. The park was designed by the Victorian landscape company Joseph Cheal and Son, known for their work at Hever Castle and Kirkstall Abbey and laid out in 1893.
Its key features remain today including the pathways, perimeter gates, railings, bandstand and the Pulhamesque rockery.