POPULAR Castle Point park has been recognised as one of the best in the UK for the third year running.

Woodside Park, Thundersley, won the prestigious Green Flag Award, which recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country, for another year.

The national award, handed out by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, allows the distinctive Green Flag to be flown in the park.

To win, parks must have the highest possible standards, be beautifully maintained and have excellent facilities.

Woodside Park, in Manor Road, boasts facilities for cricket, football and bowls, along with open spaces and two children’s playgrounds.

TomSkipp, councillor for environment and leisure, said: “We are delighted to receive a Green Flag Award for a third year.

“It recognises and highlights the benefits of this popular green space.

“There was a lot of community involvement in supporting the bid and we are so proud to have achieved this award for a muchloved recreational area.

“We now intend to look for other areas in our borough where we could gain more of these prestigious awards”

Amanda Martin, owner of Pads and Paws, in Clarence Road, Benfleet, offers a dog walking service in the area and often uses the park.

She said: “I’m not surprised, it’s a really well-kept park. To be fair, most in Benfleet are.

“I walk dogs there quite often as well as going on the Downs and the seawall. It’s a lovely park and it’s nice because you’ve got the woods to enjoy as well.”

Paul Todd, Green Flag award scheme manager, said: “A Green Flag Award provides national recognition for the hard work and dedication of all the parks’ managers, staff and volunteers who have helped to create these fantastic places for all to enjoy.”