Your Councillors

Enc. II for Cobtree Estate Update Report

 

Green Flag Award 2016

 

Name of Site: Cobtree Manor Park

Managing Organisation: Maidstone Borough Council

 

 

 
Desk Assessment Feedback (Management Plan and supporting documentation)
 

 

Criteria

Strengths

Recommendations

Presentation

 

 

 

The management plan was well laid out, easy to read and contained a lot of information

 

 

 

Although the plan is good and full of info it was felt that it is ready to reduce the size now the park has had green flag for some time

The action plan contained day to day maintenance tasks which could be inserted into the main body of the plan

Health, Safety & Security

 

Was covered well in the plan, detailed information on inspections was given which rang true on site as well

CCTV has been installed and the park has a open feel to it as well as being locked every day

 

Maintenance of equipment, buildings

& landscape

Was covered well in the plan

The new visitor centre/cafe building looks just right for the park and is a real asset

There are dedicated staff on site, in the cafe, a ranger (plans for 2 more rangers) and gardeners

Litter picking was carried out daily

Repairs of buildings was covered in the plan

Play area looks great keeping the theme of teh zoo that was once there

 

Litter, cleanliness, vandalism††

Was covered well in the plan

There are dedicated staff on site

Litter picking was carried out daily, Graffiti and vandalism was covered in the plan

 

Environmental Sustainability

 

 

Very little waste is generated and therefore removed from site, even shrub prunings or tree arisings are chipped and reused

There are recycling bins installed around the park

 

 

 

 

Conservation of

heritage & nature

Heritage of the park is covered well with plans on conserving it

This is a country park and so managing the park for conservation is in there but looking at specimen trees in the arboretum that are part of the heritage have been kept and a tree route created for education purposes

 

 

Community

Involvement

 

 

There isnít a friends group as yet

The Cobtree Charity Trust who owns the freehold of the Cobtree estate are met with regularly to discuss the improvements and progress of the park

Events and activities do happen however this is the restart of the ranger remit and there is a lot come in the future

 

Marketing Strategy

The new visitor centre/cafe will be an asset for marketing the park as it gets established more

There are uniformed staff on site

 

Overall management

 

Good plan with a lot of info in it

Great to see dedicated staff on site

A lot of thought has gone into the park

Action plan needs to be looked at

Additional comments

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Field Assessment Feedback

 

 

Criteria

Strengths

Recommendations

A Welcoming Place

 

 

 

The park sits on a main road so easy to find, didnít notice any directional signs.

The park has a welcoming feel to it, it is well maintained

The new visitor centre/cafe is a real asset in its position near the entrance of the site and next to the car park

The staff will be trained in the park history and facilities to be able to advise anyone who asks for help

The zoo themed play area looks great as well

There is art throughout the park which adds diversity as does the many different species of trees on the tree route

 

Healthy, Safe

and Secure

 

 

There is CCTV on site

Inspections were explained and match what was written in the plan

There is dedicated staff on site, cafe, ranger and gardening team

It is a large park with many walks to follow

The park is locked every night

 

Clean and

Well Maintained

 

 

The gardening staff on site and was well maintained on the day of the visit,

 

There was some dog foul spotted but not a lot and certainly didnít detract from the visit

Sustainability

 

 

Very little waste is removed from site with everything being shredded or chipped to be left on site strategically

There are recycling bins on site

Recycled plastic benches have been placed around the cafe area

 

Conservation

and Heritage

 

The heritage of the site is sensitively managed to maintain the Zoo feel to the park and there is even a guided tour that relates to the zoo, there are some buildings like the Llama house and elephant house on site which are well looked after and in part reused with plans to do more

 

Community

Involvement

 

There are some events and activities happening on site

The tree route is good and adds interest as does the art works

A friends group is in the plans to organise

As the ranger gets used to his new role we can see this part increasing with education activities as well as increasing volunteers

Marketing

 

 

The signage on site, interpretation and notice boards are good quality and up to date

The park is on a main road so very visible and well maintained

The staff on site are uniformed

 

Management

 

What is being said in the management plan is happening on the ground

 

 

Additional Comments

 

There are some very dedicated staff from the management to the committed ranger and grounds staff on site, all working hard to keep this park safe, clean and well maintained.

 

It is at the start of its journey to becoming self sustaining with many plans only just being realised, it will be great to see the progress over the next 12 months

 

The judges were made to feel very welcome in this park and felt that the park was a credit to all of the people listed above

 

This park thoroughly deserves to retain its Green Flag Standard