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Flower power prize for Dominic

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The warden of one of the area’s best-loved parks has scooped a personal prize in this year’s London in Bloom awards.

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Dominic North, warden of the Happy Valley park in Coulsdon, gained one of only three special commendations made to individuals in the capital, a prize which comes hard on the heels of Croydon borough winning six gold certificates.

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The annual London in Bloom awards recognise the best green spaces in the capital, as well as praising the individuals and groups who maintain them.

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Dominic’s citation commends his 15 years of dedication to the council’s parks and open spaces, particularly his work in maintaining Happy Valley as one of Croydon’s finest natural resources.

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"I’m delighted," said Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport. "Our green open spaces are tremendously precious."

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Croydon’s six top gold awards were for Happy Valley itself in the country park of the year category, along with Coombe Wood and Lloyd Park for large parks of the year, Coulsdon Memorial Ground in park of the year, Wettern Tree Garden in small park of the year, and Mitcham Road cemetery in the large cemetery section.

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In addition, Westow Park and Haling Grove both picked up silver gilt awards for park of the year.

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Neighbourhood awards went to The Edible Garden, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association and Birdhurst Community Gardening Group.

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Councillor Godfrey added: “As a council we really understand the value local people put on being able to escape from the bustle of urban life or have places to enjoy sports or other outdoor pursuits.

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"We have ambitious plans for the borough’s future, so I’m delighted that our parks, community groups and staff are recognised as being among the best in London.”
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nHappy Valley covers more than 250 acres of the south of the borough and is a site of special scientific interest. It is maintained more as natural countryside than a formal park and is home to a number of rare and endangered species of flowers and wildlife.

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More information about this and the many other green spaces across Croydon can be found at www.croydon.gov.uk/parks