Test Valley’s green spaces are flying the flag again

Romsey Memorial ParkRooksbury MillValley Park

Romsey War Memorial Park, Valley Park Woodlands Local Nature Reserve and Rooksbury Mill Local Nature Reserve have been recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme as amazing green spaces worth celebrating.

The outdoor spaces are among a record-breaking 1,797 UK parks and green spaces that will receive a prestigious Green Flag Award – the mark of a quality park or green space. Romsey War Memorial Park has now won the award for ten consecutive years while Rooksbury Mill in Andover has nine and Valley Park has eight.

This international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

Community and Leisure Portfolio Holder, Councillor Tony Ward, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive three Green Flag Awards for another year. We know how much it means to residents and visitors to have high quality green spaces, and this award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining all three of our parks to such a high standard.”

International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme.  Each flag is a celebration of the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. The success of the scheme, especially in these challenging times, demonstrates just how much parks matter to people.”

New leisure provider for Test Valley

Places for People Leisure Management Ltd has been announced as the new leisure contract provider for Test Valley.

Test Valley Borough Council agreed to award the 30-year contract to Places for People at a full council meeting on 9 November but had to wait for a legal standstill period to pass before announcing the successful bidder.

As part of the terms of the new contract, which is set to start on 1 April 2017, significant investment is planned to improve the borough’s leisure facilities. This investment will help to provide a brand new Andover Leisure Centre, on the current site, and a number of improvements to the other leisure centres including the Romsey Rapids, Romsey Sports Centre, Knightwood Leisure Centre and Charlton Lakeside Pavilion.

The new Andover Leisure Centre will feature a 165-station fitness suite including a virtual cycling studio, 25m six lane pool with 15m learner pool, dance studios, an eight-court sports hall, squash courts, adventure play, and café. The impressive new centre will also offer a splash pad and Clip and Climb™ to encourage more young people to adopt healthy habits for life.

Enhancements to the existing leisure centres will soon be underway with extensive refurbishment work planned, including a new state-of-the-art fitness suite at Romsey Rapids and Knightwood Leisure Centre. The new fitness suites will include the latest equipment such as powerless skill mill treadmills, Octane fitness trainers, Watt Bikes, V plates, Total Gym Gravity trainers and functional equipment such as battleropes.

Places for People Leisure currently partners 35 local authorities, managing 112 leisure centres across England. Its sites attract over 30 million visits every year and in the past ten years the award winning organisation has built 14 new leisure facilities.

Reminder: don’t miss this Saturday’s Community Woodfair

Don’t miss Test Valley Borough Council’s 16th Community Woodfair on Saturday, 3 September at Zionshill Copse Local Nature Reserve, Valley Park.

The event will be a great opportunity to celebrate nature and the traditions, trades and tales that have been inspired by it. From falconry displays and face painting to woodland crafts and children’s workshops, there will be something for everyone to enjoy. The Woodfair is open from 10am to 5pm and entry is free. A small fee may apply to some of the activities.

First steps towards new Community Centre in Abbotswood

Abbotswood Community Association trustees, local councillors and contractors marked the start of work to build a brand new community centre by carrying out a turf cutting ceremony on Monday, 25 July.

Attendees gathered at the site of the new centre to celebrate the first stage of the brand new facility, which is set to include a large hall and kitchen as well as smaller rooms for other activities. Abbotswood Community Association Trustees have been involved in the design and specification of the building from the start of the project, and once the building is complete, Test Valley Borough Council will lease the new centre to the trustees who will manage the venue.

Paddle boarding and kayaking to launch at Charlton Lakeside Pavilion

Paddle boarding and kayaking to launch at Charlton Lakeside Pavilion

Charlton Lakes Paddle Boarding

Two brand new water sports will be coming to Charlton Lakeside Pavilion this summer. Paddle boards and kayaks are joining the canoes and swan peddle boats as new activities on the lakes. 
Valley Leisure staff and their families recently gave the new boards and boats a test drive at the centre. All agreed it was a lot of fun!
See the new video advert they helped to create here.
Places for future sessions can be booked on the Valley Leisure web site here.

Step into Spring with Zumba

Step into Spring

Have your say on plan for Fishlake Meadows

Test Valley Borough Council is inviting the public to comment on a draft management plan which outlines how Fishlake Meadows will be maintained as a nature reserve. The plan will undergo public consultation for seven weeks from Monday, 21 December until Friday, 5 February.

The plan has been influenced by feedback submitted during public consultation earlier this year when more than 130 residents attended guided walks of the site, viewed plans on display at various town centre locations and spoke to local councillors about their ideas for the area.

Community and Leisure Portfolio Holder, Councillor Tony Ward, said: “The first round of consultation on Fishlake Meadows was very successful and I’d like to thank the residents who gave us their thoughts and ideas about the site. We’ve used this information to help create a structured management plan and I invite any member of the public to view the document and let us know what they think so we can make the most of this unique part of the borough.”

To view the plans and submit your comments, visit www.testvalley.gov.uk/fishlakemeadows.