ROTHERHAM Council has been urged to stick up for the town’s suburban parks — as it calls for help in keeping Clifton Park at the top of the tree.
The town’s premier park (above) has been ranked among the top ten in the country for the past three years after winning a People’s Choice Award.
But the park is the only one in Rotherham to hold a prestigious Green Flag — a mark of quality, cleanliness and accessibility.
While Barnsley also own has one Green Flag park — the repeatedly award-winning Elsecar Park — Doncaster has four and Sheffield has 12 parks, gardens and nature reserves recognised by Keep Britain Tidy.
Community campaigner Michael Sylvester recognised Clifton’s success in winning eight back-to-back Green Flag Awards but said it came against a backdrop of other parks not being maintained.
“The children’s play area at Thrybergh Country Park was out of action for eight months last year and several other people have expressed concern about their local parks around the borough,” he said.
“Comparison for parks in neighbouring boroughs is fair as most have more, with the exception of Barnsley which also only has one.
“Sheffield is also able to provide green flag parks in areas outside the centre and in deprived areas, with Tinsley Green being a prime example.”
Mr Sylvester pointed out the Thrybergh playground (below) was only fixed at Easter after being off-limits from the previous autumn.
“I remain unconvinced that has this been Clifton it would have been out of action so long,” he said.
The council’s cabinet member for cleaner, greener communities, Cllr Sarah Allen said: "We’re proud to have 28 much-loved parks available to the public in Rotherham, including recreation grounds, open spaces and three country parks, which are well-visited by residents and by people from outside of the borough.
“We’re really keen that these well-used facilities are given the full credit that they deserve, and for them to achieve national recognition in the same way that Clifton Park has.
“We are working now to achieve accreditation for Ulley and Greasbrough parks next year and then to look at getting the same recognition for Thrybergh and Rother Valley soon after.”
Voting for this year’s People’s Choice Awards closes next Monday, September 30, and you can cast your vote at https://tinyurl.com/CliftonParkaward.