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Green-fingered residents see their work bear fruit as Penge park scoops major award

PUBLISHED: 14:22 17 January 2017 | UPDATED: 14:28 17 January 2017

Members of Penge Green Gym

Members of Penge Green Gym

Archant

The gardens were neglected until volunteers decided to transform their environment

A group of green-fingered volunteers who mucked in to improve their local park in Penge have had their efforts rewarded with a major accolade.

Winsford Gardens was an unloved and neglected area until community group Penge Green Gym - also known as Friends of Winsford Gardens - got together in 2011 to transform it into a vibrant park for residents and wildlife alike.

Projects have included turning a disused concrete pond system into a vibrant bog garden that attracts insects and amphibians, and creating a series of raised beds planted with herbs and seasonal vegetables.

Now Winsford Gardens is one of only 15 parks and green spaces to receive a Special Award for Innovation from the Green Flag Award Scheme.

Brenda Little, chair of the Penge Green Gym Community Group, said “We’re thrilled to learn that we’ve been recognised by this national scheme through their special award for Innovation.

“Here in Penge we’ve got a very resilient group of volunteers who really care about their local environment and turn up each week, come rain or shine, to work in the gardens.

“Local residents who are increasingly using the gardens for recreational purposes are quick to compliment us on the unstinting work we’re doing to transform the gardens.

“And now, to receive this national recognition for our work is really the icing on the cake!”

Councillor Colin Smith, executive councillor for environment, added: “Our warmest congratulations go to Friends of Winsford Gardens not just for this recognition but as a shining example of what can be achieved by local people working together and caring about their local greenspace.”

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