Hillingdon has been awarded 60 Green Flag awards for its parks and green spaces - the highest number of any local authority in the country for the eighth year running.

The annual Green Flag Award scheme, judged by a group of environmental charities including Keep Britain Tidy, recognises accessible green spaces and is considered the benchmark national standard for public parks.

Each space must meet strict criteria, proving that they are clean, environmentally friendly and community focused.

Cllr Jonathan Bianco, Hillingdon Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, Property and Business Services, said: "This is fantastic news and we are absolutely thrilled. Green Flags are the highest honour awarded to parks or green spaces.

"We prioritise investment in our parks, and this year's success reflects our ongoing commitment. We have more than 200 green spaces across the borough for our residents and visitors to enjoy and they bring huge physical and mental health benefits. During lockdown in particular they were vital, especially for residents without gardens.

"Community groups, volunteers and council staff work incredibly hard to keep the borough looking so welcoming and attractive. These awards are a fitting recognition of their contributions."

This year, five additional publically accessible parks and green spaces within the borough were awarded the benchmark national accreditation for the first time.

They were Fairway Recreation Ground, Stonefield Park, Field End Recreation Ground, Hale Field Park and Highgrove Woods.

Of the borough's 60 Green Flag parks and green spaces, 59 are maintained by Hillingdon Council who have made a number of ecological and recreational improvements, ensuring the criteria for the prestigious national awards were met.

Stonefield Park has benefitted from an assortment of children's play equipment and outdoor gym facilities, encouraging residents to enjoy the open space and reap the benefits of exercise.

Nearby Field End Recreation Ground has also gained from recent improvements which include a new skate park and 5,000 new trees to benefit the environment and reduce the harmful effects of climate change.