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Finsbury Park stripped of Green Flag award after damning report

PUBLISHED: 13:43 20 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:43 20 November 2018

Finsbury Park. Picture: Ken Mears

Finsbury Park. Picture: Ken Mears

Archant

Finsbury Park has been stripped of its Green Flag status after a damning "mystery shopper" report by an environmental charity.

Keep Britain Tidy – which oversees the national star of excellence honour – gave the park the lowest possible rating of red following a visit last month.

It left neighbours and campaigners blaming Wireless and other festivals that take over the park during the summer, an accusation Haringey Council denied.

Now a report reveals the true reasons for the fall from grace. It says parks staff were seen “driving around looking for litter or looking into bins” but “were observed just driving about and not getting out of the vehicles and actually picking any litter or doing any work”.

At the entrance near Finsbury Park station, the inspector observed laughing gas canisters and dog fouling, adding that a rat ran across the footpath and “startled a couple of walkers”.

It also said equipment was “poorly maintained” and that a wooden climbing fort in the children’s play area should be removed for safety reasons.

The Hope picnic area was branded a “total disgrace”, an area at the centre of the park was said to be “teeming with rats” and benches were so bad inspectors want them removed.

Toilets, cafes and other facilities were clean, well maintained and open, and safety equipment was said to in good condition.

Haringey Council said: “We are making improvements to Finsbury Park and are keen to work with Keep Britain Tidy to make sure the green flag is flying again shortly.”

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