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Page last updated at 13:55 GMT, Tuesday, 3 August 2010 14:55 UK
Thirty-four Essex parks receive Green Flag award
Danbury Country Park
Danbury Country Park is one of seven ECC parks awarded Green Flags

Thirty-four open spaces across Essex have been awarded Green Flag status by a Keep Britain Tidy led initiative.

The parks are among over 1200 open spaces in the country highlighted as being the best of there kind.

Eight of the parks are maintained by Chelmsford Borough Council, seven by Essex County Council and four by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.

Colchester, Maldon and Thurrock districts have three apiece, Tendring Lee Valley and Braintree have two.

The Green Flag Awards are organised by the Green Flag Plus Partnership, comprising Keep Britain Tidy, BTCV and GreenSpace.

The applicants are judged on eight different criteria, such as cleanliness, sustainability, heritage and healthy and safety.

Among the successful applicants was Parndon Wood in Harlow, which received the accolade for the second consecutive year.

"We work hard to maintain the town's open spaces and winning this award means Parndon Wood Nature Reserve is one of the best kept parks in the country," said Harlow Councillor Tony Hall.

"Gaining Green Flag status is the benchmark of excellence all public parks in the country want to reach."

Seven parks managed by Essex County Council were also recognised, two more than in 2009.

A full list of parks awarded Green Flag status can be found at the Keep Britain Tidy website.

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