Blog post

Derby Parks get the Green Flag

By Ray Underwood - 4 November 2021

Derby Parks have great reason to celebrate this year. Their tireless work over the lockdown has paid off as six of their parks have been awarded the Green Flag award! The Green Flag award scheme has been going for four decades and shows how well a public space has been beautifully maintained and reflects how green spaces should be managed for both the environment and visitors. This speaks volumes about how well our parks are being managed, especially since parks and green spaces have played such a vital role during the UK's recent lockdown.  

Studying in Derby  

My name is Ray and I have been living in Derby for four years now. I graduated from Creative and Professional writing last year and I'm currently studying an MSc in Marketing Management part-time.   

I have always loved the many parks in Derby, especially as I work and study near the most popular one in the East Midlands - Markeaton Park. Whilst I’ve spent many sunny days walking around the huge park, reading on the grass banks, and enjoying the craft village and orangery cafe with my friends, it wasn’t until the lockdown that I really appreciated Derby’s parks.  

Parks in lockdown   

During the initial lockdown last year, I wasn’t able to see any of my family due to the travel ban which was pretty hard on me and my parents. As soon as we were allowed to, they wanted to come and see me but since I didn’t have a garden we decided to meet at the closest park to us which happened to be Markeaton Park.

It is a lot bigger than expected and was great to walk around the park, catching up with my parents after such a long time of not being able to see them. I ended up spending much more time at these parks after this to see my family and to just get out of the house as it’s a great place to exercise. 

Another one of the parks I have visited frequently since lockdown is Darley Park which is located on the River Derwent and we began to walk my fiancé’s family dog there as, like most of Derby parks, it is a great nature walk. We have done this more since the lockdown and I now really appreciate how close I am to these beautiful, open spaces.  

Autumn trees line a path with street lights and orange leaves on the floor
Autumn trees stand tall on a grassy bank with benches in the distance

Other parks in Derby  

All the parks that have won the Green Flag award are Derby Arboretum, Alvaston, Chaddesden, Sunnydale, Darley, and Markeaton Park. I have yet to visit all the parks myself but from what I’ve seen, every park is a beautiful space which has lots of events and activities for everyone:  

Derby Arboretum is the world's first public park and boasts this heritage. Alvaston Park is a great riverside location and offers amazing outdoor events such as BMXing and exploring their science garden. Sunnydale is a local nature reserve and provides a home for lots of wildlife. 

Chaddesden Park has a great community feel to it, with many activities for families (such as the yearly Big One event) as well as offering a range of sporting events. Markeaton Park has many events such as the return of the outdoor theatre and race for life event as well as rowing on the lake. Meanwhile, Darley Park is a short walk from the city centre and holds one of the biggest outdoor concerts in the UK every year.  

Any one of these parks would be amazing to go to if you’re wanting some great outdoor events or just somewhere to enjoy the views. They definitely helped me and my family during the recent pandemic and continue to be the perfect spaces to visit.

About the author

Ray Underwood, smiling.

Ray Underwood
MSc Marketing Management student

My name is Ray and I'm an MSc student studying Marketing Management at the University of Derby. I recently graduated from Creative and Professional Writing (BA) and still am very passionate about writing and doing anything creative!