A nature reserve received a prestigious award in recognition of its facilities and maintenance this week.

Roding Valley Meadows Nature Reserve, which lies between Chigwell and Loughton and is managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust, received a Green Flag Award.

A Green Flag flying overhead is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.

The 160-acre nature reserve is famous for its wild flowers, such as Southern Marsh Orchids and Yellow Watercress, which flourish there.

The award, handed out by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country.

Patrick Bailly, Essex Wildlife Trust’s warden at Roding Valley Meadows, said: “Roding Valley Meadows is a very special site and Essex Wildlife Trust is absolutely thrilled to receive a Green Flag Award.

“It recognises and highlights that, at Roding Valley Meadows, people in Loughton and the surrounding area are benefiting from a green space of the very highest quality.”