Through trowel and error the green flag continues to fly at Egerton Park

Bexhill's award winning Egerton Park
Bexhill's award winning Egerton Park

Bexhill’s Egerton Park has been awarded a national accolade for the fifth year in a row, but its keeper’s hard work is being thwarted by vandals.

Egerton Park has again been granted Green Flag status by the charity Keep Britain Tidy. The accolade is presented to parks which meet the highest standards for maintenance, environment and facilities.

The park, which is owned by Rother District Council (RDC) was first awarded Green Flag status in 2013, after undergoing a £1 million revamp. This included a new play area, refreshment kiosk and sensory garden.

Maintenance work on the park this year has included renewing and refreshing areas of planting along with installing rocks and ornamental railings for protection around planted areas.

The park is maintained by contractor idverde, by head gardener Neil Stripp, assistant Damien Sumner and their colleagues, but their job has been trowel and error thanks to a spate of petty vandalism.

In recent months, incidents include damage to the roof of shelters in the park, cigarette burns and tears to a canopy covering the outdoor gym and tampering with play equipment.

Cllr Ian Hollidge, RDC cabinet member for environment, transport and Bexhill Town Centre, says achieving Green Flag status for the fifth year in a row is testament to the hard work put in by Neil, Damien and their predecessors.

“Egerton Park is a much-loved community facility and remains a safe place for people of all ages to enjoy,” he said.

“The award recognises the high quality of the park and the important role it plays in providing a green lung in the heart of Bexhill.”

First opened in the late 1800s, Egerton Park is one of a record 1,797 UK parks and green spaces to get Green Flag status this year and Cllr Hollidge says the council want to keep the accolade.

“It would be a great shame if all the hard work was put in jeopardy by the mindless actions of a few individuals.

“I’d urge anyone who witnesses any vandalism to report it to the police or the council so action can be taken to ensure we can keep the park in pristine condition for everyone to enjoy.”

Anyone who has any information on the vandalism call RDC on (01424) 787522, Sussex Police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.