Edge Hill University is celebrating news that it has scooped a Green Flag Award for maintaining an attractive, safe and welcoming campus.

The University is one of only two universities to ever achieve the accolade for its campus, which has become a popular local attraction attracting thousands of visitors a year by holding open days, conferences and guests lectures, as well as its community sports complex and the popular Rose Theatre.  The campus also features an array of public art with its Sculpture Trail, that members of the community can view and enjoy.

Grounds Manager Martin Grayshon said: “I’m delighted that we have won this award. We’ve strived to achieve this benchmark and it’s fantastic recognition for the teams who work hard behind the scenes to keep the campus looking as stunning as it does.

“When students apply to university, it’s not just the standard of academic provision, but factors such as the landscape, standard of living, and safety of the environment that play a part in their final decision. It’s important, therefore, that we ensure our campus is the best it can be, as this contributes towards the student experience.”

Known as the benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces in the UK, the scheme was set up in 1996 to recognise locations in England and Wales that meet the high standards laid down to achieve the award. The idea behind the initiative is to encourage continuous high environmental standards, and is open to any free public park or space to apply.

Sites are judged against eight key themes: a welcoming place; healthy, safe and secure; clean and well maintained, sustainability; conservation and heritage; community involvement; marketing; and management.

The University’s Grounds Maintenance team also follow their own ‘Ten Commandments’ mission statement to ensure that it remains a high quality teaching and learning environment.

Bill Hancox, Director of Facilities Management, said: “Over the years, the University has won many environmental awards for its buildings and campus. We have very recently received a first class award from People and Planet for our performance in the Green League 2012, and now achieving Green Flag status is further testimony to the hard work that continues to ensure a high-quality environment is developed and maintained. I’m delighted that we have gained this accreditation for our campus and I hope our staff, students and the wider community take pride in this achievement. We will continue to invest in providing a fantastic environment in which to live, learn, work, socialise and enjoy.”