AN ESSEX park has preserved its status among Britain’s top outdoor spaces after winning the Green Flag Award. 

The prestigious award provides international recognition of the parks and green areas which set the benchmark for day-to-day management and upkeep. 

This is the seventh year that Wivenhoe Park, which is located on the University of Essex grounds in Colchester, has been awarded the Green Flag prize. 

Mick Minshull, the head of grounds at the University of Essex, said: "This award is a testament to my brilliant team who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards of Wivenhoe Park.  

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"The park is loved by not only our students and staff but also the Colchester community and we feel that sense of responsibility in ensuring it always looks its best.

"It’s an amazing job to look after Wivenhoe Park. I love working here, it’s so good for the soul as well as the spirit.  

"Everywhere you look there is nature, the people are great and you come in every day with a great sense of purpose. It’s very satisfying."

Keep Britain Tidy’s Green Flag Award scheme manager, Paul Todd MBE, said: "I would like to congratulate everyone involved at Wivenhoe Park in achieving a Green Flag Award. 

"Wivenhoe Park is a vital green space for the community in Colchester, bringing people together and providing opportunities to lead healthy lifestyles. 

"The staff and volunteers do so much to ensure that it maintains the high standards of the Green Flag Award and everyone involved should feel extremely proud of their achievement."

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The announcement comes months after Wivenhoe Park was awarded the Green Flag 2022 People’s Choice Award – the only university campus to win the prize. 

The award recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of green spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.

Immortalised in oils by world-famous painter John Constable, Wivenhoe Park remains a striking landscape of more than 200 acres much-loved by students, staff and the surrounding community. 

The park includes three lakes, 2,800 trees, car-free jogging routes and 40 acres of sports fields.