The Friends of Colliers Wood are proud of the green flag that flutters above Engine Lane.
All visitors can help retain this status.
Respect the wildlife and ecology that makes your visit so pleasant. Please look after the sites facilities, don’t leave any form of loose litter and dog owners utilise the poo-bins.
The Green Flag Award Scheme is run by the Green Flag Plus Partnership, consisting of Keep Britain Tidy, TCV and GreenSpace organisations. It is funded through the Department for Communities and Local Government. On their behalf, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s ‘CABE Space’ organisation (specialist section of CABE, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment), set and supervise the strategic direction for the scheme.
Our first Green Flag application document was prepared late in 2007. This was written to cover the five year period 2008 to 2013. Each year during this period, an updated document had to be submitted.
The first submission for the 2008-2009 period proved to be successful, with the award of the Green Flag status. All subsequent yearly submissions were successfully made through to, and including,the final 2012-2013 period.
In late 2012 the submission document was modified to cover the next five years, 2013 to 2018. On 29th July 2013, it was announnced that Colliers Wood had again met the standards and gained the award for the year 2013-14.
Green Flag judges issue a recommended report for each submission following their site visits and an examination of the document information and management intents. This important feedback can be viewed by clicking on the appropriate following periods: 2008-09, 2009-10, 2011-12
A report was not issued for the 2010-2011 and the 2012-2013 periods because a formal site visit was not required following the high level of scores received in the preceding years.
Why a Green Flag?
In 2008, as a part of complying with Government environmental legislation requirements, Broxtowe proposed submitting Colliers Wood as the second Green Flag applicant site in the borough. At that stage there was no formal management plan for the sites maintenance and development. Maintenance procedures were based on standard borough documents used for sub-contract tendering and basic work routines developed for urban parks.
Broxtowe had inherited the responsibility for Colliers Wood maintenance in May 2003. The site had been formed in 1997/98 under the supervision of English Heritage (now called Natural England) using Latham landscape architects. Maintenance had been contracted out and was paid for as part of the vesting package for reinstatement after open-cast mining operations. This maintenance contract was for 5 years and limited the practical involvement of Broxtowe Borough Council’s Parks and Open Spaces staff.
Regular community events were already well established at the site. These were mainly organised by the Friends of Colliers Wood who were gradually extending the scope of those activities. A desire to involve a greater cross-section of the community and to increase the number of participants encouraged project work to establish suitable facilities- an ongoing task. Educational activities were developed to support visits from schools, youth organisations and church groups. These were reinforced when Broxtowe engaged the Greenwood Community Forest team to adapt the ‘Lesson-in-a-Box’ system to be applicable to Colliers Wood.
(See EVENTS section which illustrates the wide range of activities that occur at the site. You can organise your own event. Contact the FoCW for advice.)
The Friends had for some time been seeking an agreed maintenance plan that incorporated various management aspects related to the sites ecology. A comprehensive management plan is a requirement for Green Flag Award applications. The FoCW saw the Green Flag Award as the catalyst to bring together the sometimes differing views on the management of the site and as a way to help overcome the lack of consultation regarding previous management practices and changes to the sites infrastructure. The FoCW therefore agreed to co-operate in the preparation of a Green Flag Award application as a means of obtaining a management plan. The Friends recognised the many benefits of achieving Green Flag status, but the driving force was the potential for more careful consideration of, and commitment to the site maintenance and development. This also required Broxtowe to accept a financial commitment for rectifying the sites problems. These problems include the failed scheme of water management; see Habitats-pre 2009.
Colliers Wood Management Plan
The management plan is a key part of the Green Flag submission document. It is updated each year to reflect evolving situations and to address advice given by the Green Flag Plus Partnership judges and site user feedback. Progress on each item is recorded. The plan covers five years of work. Before the termination of the plan period, a fundamental review will be implemented and another five year plan prepared. Most aspects of the maintenance and use of the site are addressed by the plan.
Green Flag Plus Partnership has guiding criteria in their considerations for an award. Five of these require the site to be:
- A welcoming place. Your first views of the site encourages you to enter.
- Healthy, safe and secure. Visitors should not experience site induced anxiety of any sort or be physically endangered in any way. Defect rectification must be prompt.
- Well maintained and clean. All facilities, paths, woodland, meadows and water bodies to be continuously maintained to workable programs. The site to be free from waste that endangers the wildlife and aesthetically despoils the scenery.
- Conscious of conservation and heritage. Means of management and site use to be considerate of protecting the natural and built features, especially the support of wildlife.
- Desirable for community involvement. The feeling of ownership by all potential users. The community to be encouraged to organise site activities and events and to be involved in the preparation and monitoring of management plans.
In support of these aims, the following three criteria must be demonstrated:
- Sustainability. Environmentally sound maintenance methods.
- Marketing. Presenting the site to potential users in appealing ways that encourage visits and demonstrates wide opportunities for use and involvement by all.
- Management. Establishing practical reactive procedures for dealing with issues and evolving long term programs for enhancing the site environment and users facilities.
A Green Flag Future
The influence of the Green Flag Award procedure has been demonstrably beneficial to Colliers Wood. FoCW hope that government do not relinquish local authorities responsibility for environmental standards to be continually improved. Many of the other sites within the Greenwood Forest area have been, or are being, prepared for a Green Flag or Green Pennant Award. This raising of the standards will encourage people to have more external activity and will reinforce the protected habitats available to our wildlife.
Within the Borough of Broxtowe, there has been good progress on preparing the area for an environmentally sound future in a landscape that will have to cope with increasing community demands. The council issued the ‘Green Spaces Strategy 2009-2019’. A document that had used the comprehensive review of all borough parks and significant open spaces undertaken by the ‘Broxtowe Green Spaces Audit’ to recognize the values of each green space and formulating a means of prioritising improvement action for these sites. The qualitative assessment of each green space utilised the Green Flag Plus Partnership criteria.
In 2009, the revised ‘Nature Conservation Strategy for the Borough of Broxtowe’ was issued. Its declared aim is ‘to conserve and enhance the Borough’s natural heritage for the benefit of people and wildlife’. A set of actions is identified to benefit bio-diversity and enhance a range of urban and local habitats. These include current and prospective Green Flag and Green Pennant sites. The relevance of the physical location of these green spaces and their connecting environmental corridors is apparent. The strategy recognises the need to encourage/expand access and community responsibility and feeling of ‘ownership’ for these spaces. Key aims for both the Greenwood Community Forest and the Green Flag Plus Partnership.
It is hoped that CABE Space will continue to guide further development of the standards necessary for Green Flag status and encourage implementation of parallel environmental improvement policies.