Hampshire’s Country Parks scoop prestigious Green Flag awards once again

Five Country Parks in Hampshire have been recognised as among the best in the world for visitors having secured internationally recognised Green Flag awards for 2023

Jul 18 2023

Lepe, River Hamble, Royal Victoria, Queen Elizabeth and Staunton Country Parks have all once again regained Green Flag status in recognition of their excellent facilities and quality maintenance. Staunton Country Park and Royal Victoria Country Park have also once again scooped Green Heritage Accreditation for the management of the sites’ unique historic features. 
 
Councillor Russell Oppenheimer, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Countryside and Regulatory Services, said: “This is great news and an accolade that we share with the amazing team of volunteers that support the activities of these wonderful parks. Each of the Country Parks offers residents a really great value day out in a beautiful green space. We’ve recently invested in all the sites so we can provide top notch facilities including cafés serving local produce, and a range of activities and attractions, as well as an opportunity to explore the amazing heritage and histories of each location. Every Country Park has a special character taking you from the coast at Lepe, to the South Downs at Queen Elizabeth, to military history and a great pizza restaurant at Royal Victoria, and stunning forest woodland walks at River Hamble. With the summer holidays about to start, a trip to any of our Country Parks is a fantastic option for families.”

The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, 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. A full list of Green Flag Award-winning parks and green spaces is available here.

Each of Hampshire’s five country parks offers something unique: 
 
Lepe Country Park on the coast of the New Forest has been improved with a new café and visitor centre offering views of the Solent and Isle of Wight, a sensory garden and fantastic coastal and countryside walks.
Queen Elizabeth Country Park, near Petersfield, is Hampshire's biggest Country Park with more than 2000 acres of woodland and downland. The park’s visitor centre has been transformed to include a bigger restaurant, more welcoming entrance, outdoor sheltered area and space for tourism-based businesses. 
Royal Victoria Country Park sits on the shores of Southampton Water, near Netley. The refurbishment of its historic Chapel, the only remaining part of what was once the world’s largest military hospital of its time, provides a popular historic attraction for visitors. The park also now also boasts a brand-new restaurant serving hand-made pizzas, in another sensitively-restored building. 
River Hamble Country Park, near Bursledon, offers walking, cycling and horse riding in the woods and along the banks of the River Hamble. The ongoing transformation of this park has included a new café – The Barn – and visitor centre, improved play equipment,  better paths and trail signage to attract more families and make it more accessible. 
Staunton Country Park, near Havant, offers the perfect venue for keen walkers, cyclists and anglers. The Country Park has recently completed a major refurbishment which has created a new visitor centre and tea room in the Victorian Coachhouse and provided improved car parking. The listed Regency landscape has been restored with follies, exotic trees and shrubs, and a beautiful walled garden.