Crouch End and Muswell Hill parks slammed: Keep Britain Tidy rate Priory Park and Albert Rec unworthy of green flags
PUBLISHED: 17:00 23 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:00 24 January 2019
Parks in the west of Haringey have come in for criticism in a series of "mystery shopper" reports produced by Keep Britain Tidy - the organisation that manages the Green Flag scheme in England.
Albert Rec in Alexandra and Priory Park in Hornsey were both given red ratings – which means the green flag should no longer be flown – while Coldfall Wood and Parkland Walk were both rated amber.
An amber rating means the parks need to be improved. Haringey Council disputes some of the findings and wants the parks scored again.
The report for Priory Park slams its maintenance, saying “horticultural standards were very poor”, and lists a number of issues including the abandoned bowling green, broken benches and damaged bins, and a lack of care for the “historic elements of the park”.
Meanwhile Albert Rec’s play area comes in for heavy criticism, with the assessor drawing particular attention to a “dangerous screw head exposed on slide platform” and “dog faeces on a hard surface”.
The reports were published following a Freedom of Information request made by former councillor Clive Carter.
Local councillor Alessandra Rossetti (Alexandra, Lib Dem) said: “These reports should jolt the council into action. Albert Rec needs proper maintenance and for the council to stop dragging their feet and refurbish the play area.”
Crouch End campaigner Adrian Essex told the Broadway: “It’s such a shame, it’s clear that parks are really important for people, but the council isn’t maintaining them.”
Haringey’s environment chief Cllr Kirsten Hearn said: “We value the Green Flag scheme – that is why we signed up to it voluntarily – and have made a number of improvements in the parks. This will include carrying out regular inspections in partnership with the Friends’ groups in future.
“There are, however, a number of points we do not agree with in the assessment of some of our parks, including Albert Road Recreation Ground and Priory Park, and we are asking Keep Britain Tidy to revisit these.”
Across the borough, nine spaces got a red report, with a further nine rated amber and only three – including Queen’s Wood – given a green rating. Finsbury Park has since been upgraded from red to green.