Redbridge has won nine Green Flag awards for its parks.

The borough won the prizes, which reward areas with the highest possible environmental, maintenance, and visitor standards, following a £1.6 million investment into new and refurbished playgrounds and outdoor gyms.

The scheme is run by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.

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Redbridge Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal said: "I know just how important our parks are to local people. 

“I grew up playing football in Seven Kings Park, I took my children to play in South Park when they were little, and now they're grown up we walk our dogs together in Hainault Forest and visit the annual fair in Fairlop Waters.

"Parks can be a lifeline, a place to escape our busy lives and enjoy nature, and that's why as a council, we've invested so much in improving and protecting our green spaces, and I'm proud that our commitment has been recognised once again with this prestigious Award.

"These flags are a huge honour and a great tribute to the hard work of our parks team at Vision, as well as the local people and volunteers who contribute so much to making our parks places we can all be very proud of."

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Clayhall ParkClayhall Park

The nine award-winning Redbridge parks are: Claybury Park, Clayhall Park, Elmhurst Gardens, Goodmayes Park, Hainault Forest, Ilford War Memorial, Seven Kings Park, South Park and Valentines Park.

Martin Solder, chair of trustees for Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure, said: "I am delighted that we have been awarded nine Green Flag Awards for parks in Redbridge.

“Parks are vital spaces for our local communities, and I would like to thank everyone involved for their continued support in delivering these services."

New additions to the parks include one of the largest outdoor gyms in London, opened in Valentines Park in 2020.

Redbridge Council has also recently rolled out a new Park Patrol Service to prevent and detect antisocial behaviour in the borough's parks.

The new service, Parkguard, patrols Redbridge parks to crack down on crime, antisocial behaviour and environmental crime through engagement, enforcement and education.