WOLLESCOTE Park volunteers have celebrated receiving an award for their sensory garden but have expressed disappointment at missing out on recognition for the park itself which they say has been under-funded.

The Friends of Wollescote Park received a Community Green Flag Award for the park’s popular sensory garden which the group says is testament to the hard work and dedication of volunteers that care for the green space.

Stourbridge News: Wollescote Park's sensory gardenWollescote Park's sensory garden (Image: Friends of Wollescote Park)

Keep Britain Tidy’s Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd MBE congratulated the Friends on gaining the international quality mark for the garden and he said: “Wollescote Park Sensory Garden is a fabulous space for the community, bringing people together and providing opportunities to lead healthy lifestyles, through gardening, Friday elevenses cafe and petanque.

Stourbridge News: Wollescote Park's sensory garden in full bloomWollescote Park's sensory garden in full bloom (Image: Friends of Wollescote Park)

Stourbridge News: Volunteers in Wollescote ParkVolunteers in Wollescote Park (Image: Friends of Wollescote Park)

“The volunteers do so much to ensure that it maintains the high standards of the Green Flag Award, and everyone involved should feel extremely proud of their achievement.”

The Friends, however, have been left disappointed at the news that Wollescote Park’s application for Green Flag status was unsuccessful.

Chairperson Julia Marks said the group was not surprised as there have been longstanding complaints about a hole in the toilet roof, facilities being locked up and inaccessible and the park’s failure to adopt more environmentally-friendly approaches to maintenance.

She said the group has arranged to meet with Dudley’s parks development team on August 8 to discuss why the standards needed to gain accreditation for Wollescote Park have not been met and what steps can be taken.

Julia said: “There seems to be a ‘north-south divide’ in investment in the different parks across the borough and Wollescote Park volunteers are fed-up with being the ‘Cinderella’ to other Stevens Parks.

She said the Friends “feel that Wollescote Hall and Park should be put in the pipeline for lottery funding”.

Julia said ideas proposed include having a clock tower café and for the park to host artisan workshops and a teaching facility – and she believes a public consultation is needed.