We should cherish our award-winning parks

Green flag: national scheme celebrating the best green spaces.

Green flag: national scheme celebrating the best green spaces.

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The news that parks throughout Burnley have again won prestigious Green Flag Awards should be a great source of pride to all of us.

Our parks get used to varying degrees and, perhaps, we should all make more of them.

Some of the features that used to grace them may now be missing.

But they are still a, largely, free-to-use facility that should be an essential part of our everyday existence.

Throughout Burnley we have huge parks that are the living and breathing lungs of our towns and villages.

They are a source of entertainment, exercise and enjoyment.

News of these awards will, of course, send some of our correspondents into a spin.

They will reach for their quills and bash out letters of condemnation as they have spotted an errant crisp packet or a long-discarded chocolate wrapper.

These things do crop up in our parks and other open spaces.

They are left behind by a mind-numbingly ignorant section of society who have simply never been taught how to behave responsibly in public.

But, on the whole, from my recent visits to parks throughout Burnley, they are clean and tidy and well kept.

And if our parks really were constantly littered with such debris, the Keep Britain Tidy group which supports the Green Flag Awards would not have been handing out the flags to so many of our parks this week.

Our forebears had the foresight to see industrial towns needed open space everyone could enjoy.

And, if evidence from the recent hot spell is anything to go by, large sections of the Burnley community still do enjoy our parks.

But it is nothing like it was in the days of my youth.

And that is a crying shame as these parks are great semi-rural facilities locked in the middle of our increasing urban sprawl.

Although most of us live within minutes of beautiful countryside, we need our parks.

We need to cherish them, use them, and ensure we take all our clutter home with us at the end of the day.