Brockhill, Lullingstone, Shorne Woods, and Trosley Country Parks were all awarded the Gold Award, with Brockhill also being named the South & South East Country Park of the Year for the fifth year in a row.
The South & South East In Bloom competition is the largest horticultural campaign in the region, involving hundreds of communities each year. It is part of the Britain in Bloom campaign, run by the Royal Horticultural Society.
KCC’s Country Parks provide some of the best natural habitats and landscapes in the county and offer visitors excellent leisure and educational resources. Brockhill’s lake, woods, meadows, picnic and play areas – along with the excellent Brockhill cafe – make it a great spot for a family day out. The park is also rich in wildlife, including marbled white butterflies, green woodpeckers and carpets of snowdrops.
Brockhill received full marks for its staff and voluntary presence, with the In Bloom judge commenting:
"During my visit I met the volunteer team who explained the importance and satisfaction from volunteering at Brockhill. The meadow area was a joy to walk through and I was extremely impressed with expert knowledge of Louis and Paul and their commitment to maintain and improve the meadows for the benefit of nature."
Shorne Woods demonstrated its commitment to improving accessibility for all visitors with a score of 18 out of 20 for providing access for all.
The In Bloom Judge said:
"There are accessible toilets for disabled people and their carers including provision of hoist and bench. A welcoming, safe environment for all ages and backgrounds, with available ‘Tramper’ vehicles, allowing greater off-road access for the disabled visitor."
Trosley Country Park has spectacular views over the North Downs. The In Bloom judge pointed out:
"Views to the south are breath-taking and is exemplified with viewpoints, newly themed and sculptured benches allow the visitor to enjoy while resting. Sites of Special Scientific Interest chalk grass slopes are impressively managed, using goats to keep the scrub to manageable levels and allow the grass to flourish without competition."
Lullingstone Country Park was highlighted for the enjoyment it gives its visitors and the great events that are offer.
The In Bloom assessment included: “It is clearly obvious; upon arrival the enthusiasm, relationship and enjoyment visitors have with this park. Welcomed by a volunteer providing information, demonstrates the importance of volunteers and how COVID has jelled people to the natural world.
"Events such as astronomy, Teddy Bears Picnic and Christmas activities have been successful and well attended."
“The county council is exceptionally proud to have award-winning country parks for visitors to enjoy in Kent.”
KCC’s Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, Mike Hill said:
"The county council is exceptionally proud to have award-winning country parks for visitors to enjoy in Kent."
"The county council is exceptionally proud to have award-winning country parks for visitors to enjoy in Kent. These Gold Awards are in addition to eight of our Country Parks achieving Green Flag status this year and Lullingstone becoming just one of a network of 70 Queen’s Green Canopy Ancient Woodland sites in the UK due to its veteran tree population."
To find out more about KCC’s award-winning Country Parks visit www.kentcountryparks.co.uk.