Hesketh Park, Southport is celebrating after receiving a special accolade for Innovation from the Green Flag Award Scheme.

The award is presented to Green Flag Award or Community Award winning sites that show that they have made changes which have brought outstanding benefits to both their site and the local community.

Sefton Council’s Green Flag listed Hesketh Park was chosen as one of 9 sites across the country for the award for the innovative maze in the park and its impact on people who use it.

The maze, known locally as the Labyrinth, opened in 2013 and was developed to promote the benefit of creative solutions as an innovative remedy for stress, anxiety and depression.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Children, Schools, Families and Leisure, said: “This award demonstrates what a great asset Hesketh Park is and congratulations must go to everyone involved in winning it.

“The Keep Britain Tidy judges recognised how we have used the maze as an innovative remedy for stress, anxiety and depression which has proved to be very popular and it is great to be formally recognised.

“The maze is one of a number of key attractions in Hesketh Park which is well worth a visit along with many of our other Green Flag listed parks and open spaces.”

According to judges, innovation is classed as something which is new to that particular site and it must have been introduced in the last three years. It is not necessarily dependent upon a large financial investment; it must simply bring improvement to the community’s experience of the site.

Paul Todd, Green Flag Award Scheme manager said: “Congratulations to everyone involved in Hesketh Park – a worthy winner of the Special Innovation Award.

“Research has shown that quality parks and green spaces play a vital role within their local communities. Hesketh Park in Southport is a perfect example of how our green spaces can positively contribute to the local environment and bring the community together.”

The Green Flag Award recognises well managed, high quality green spaces. Awards are given to celebrate the best green spaces in the country. The Special Awards for Innovation are open to all Green Flag Award winners, with 2014 seeing a record breaking 1,482 winners.

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