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Why did I want to become a judge? A new judge's story

11 May 2015

We wanted to see what made someone want to be a Green Flag Award judge, what they were most excited about and their own favourite parks.

At a recent Green Flag Award judges training session we wanted to see what made someone want to be a Green Flag Award judge, what they were most excited about and their own favourite parks. 

Jo from Fylde was kind enough to share her answers after attending last month's training in St. Helens. 
What brought you here today? What made you want to be a Green Flag Award judge?
"In my role of landscape designer for Fylde Borough Council I manage six Green Flag sites and I figured being a judge would give me more insight into managing these sites effectively.  Also, I think that in terms of personal career development you must keep learning and keep visiting other parks and greenspace for inspiration!"

What do you do with your time when you aren't attending judges' training?

"I run a busy private garden design practice, beautifying residential gardens which I love and I am a mum of two kids and a whippet so no time for resting!  I also love cinema, great TV and books."

Outside of your day job, what was the last thing you did in a park?

"Probably take the kids to play and the Whippet to run."

What are you most looking forward to about getting out and judging?

"Seeing other sites, nicking good ideas and being out and about."

What are you most apprehensive about for your first judging?

"Getting it right ! not 'bringing my pet to the party' Michele!  that phrase will stick with me!"

What do parks and green spaces mean to you?

"A chance to stop and breathe and take it all in, listen to the world around me, people watch, engage with my family and see beautiful things."

In your opinion, what makes Green Flag Award parks so special?

"The understanding of different sites and their inherent character, recognising the impact of the outdoors on health and well being, celebrating that and encouraging the protection and development of better greenspace."

If you were Prime Minister, what would you do for parks and green spaces?

"Invest : Educate : Enjoy"

What are your memories of parks and green spaces from your childhood?

"Ha ha, the 70's :-) freedom, ice cream, bluebell woods, getting lost and Dad swinging on a tree branch and breaking it !"

Which is your favourite park or green space? 

"Couldn't choose just one! I have a soft spot for Battersea Park, also Styal woods, Cheshire, Walkden Gardens in Sale  and The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall were an early inspiration, oh and The Japanese Garden at Tatton.  There are so many awesome places."