MARLOVIANS have an extra reason to get outdoors in the summer sun after the town’s park was once again named one of the best in the country.
Higginson Park, the jewel in the crown of Marlow’s idyllic riverside setting, has been awarded the Green Flag title for the eleventh year running.
The coveted status is reserved for public parks of the highest standard, with judges impressed at the use of green space, well-maintained facilities and high standard of safety and security.
The Wycombe District Council-run resource is one of 1,476 parks throughout the UK granted permission to fly the flag, which has greeted visitors and residents alike for over a decade.
Councillor Julia Adey, Wycombe District Council’s Cabinet Member for Community, said: "Higginson Park is always a popular destination for local residents and visitors, thanks to its picturesque riverside setting, cafe and play area.
"We are exceedingly proud to be flying the Green Flag once more and will aim to maintain a standard for the enjoyment of local residents and visitors alike.
"While this is the eleventh year that the park has received a Green Flag, it shouldn’t be taken for granted how much hard work goes in to ensuring it remains award winning.
"Special thanks should go to our green spaces team, our contractor John O’Conner and the Friends of Higginson Park group."
With its cricket pitch, skatepark, children’s play area, tree-lined avenues and moorings along the Thames banks, the attraction of the green space draws over a million visits per year.
It also houses Court Garden, housing a leisure centre, cafe, conference and wedding venue, as well as being home to Marlow Town Council.
WDC’s contractor is responsible for routine grounds maintenance in the park including grass cutting, flower and shrub bed maintenance and litter collection.
Higginson Park has recovered to win the Green Flag status despite being almost completely underwater during the devastating Thames floods in February.
And judges seemed undeterred by the arrival in the park of Costa Coffee, which proved controversial among some long-standing town residents for spoiling the views when it opened in April.
The 23-acre riverside site has been in used as a public park since 1926. It is named after Crimean War general George Harrison, who lived in the town.
To mark Higginson’s 100th birthday in 1926, the people of Marlow started a collection to buy the park as a memorial to the famous resident.
Keep Britain Tidy runs the Green Flag Award scheme in the UK on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government.