The beautiful parkland around Wivenhoe House hotel has been given a top award.
The University of Essex, which manages the 230-acre site, has been given a Green Flag Award in recognition of its commitment to managing the historic parkland.
The Green Flag Award scheme judge who visited Wivenhoe Park said it is “one of the best sites I have seen for environmental practices.”
Immortalised on canvas in 1816 by John Constable, Wivenhoe Park has more than 2,800 notable trees, including rare species, and three man-made lakes which provide a habitat for water birds including moorhens, coots and various duck species. Recent habitat surveys have identified species woodpeckers, kingfishers, five species of bat, grass snakes, common lizards, hedgehogs and harvest mice.
The national Green Flag Award scheme sets the benchmark for good management of recreational outdoor space.
The judges singled out the tree management for praise, as well as the use of bat and bird boxes, and wild areas for insects.
Oliver Brown, General Manager at Wivenhoe House, said: “We are extremely fortunate in having such a talented team looking after our parkland and gardens. They are very attuned to the historical importance of our setting.”
The University’s Grounds Manager, Rob Davey, said: “We strongly believe that a parkland can be green in more than one way and are committed to using green technologies to protect and promote the natural environment at Wivenhoe Park.”
In summing up, the judge noted that the “parkland and campus were pristine and looked amazing in the balmy summer.”