In a record-breaking year The Venetian Waterways is once again raising its prestigious Green Flag Awards

Today, Access Community Trust and Great Yarmouth Borough Council are celebrating after receiving a Green Flag Award for The Venetian Waterways – one of 2208 UK winners.

The award is the international quality mark for parks and green spaces.

After two years that have seen our parks and green spaces play a vital role for people through lockdowns as a place to relax, exercise and meet friends and family safely, the news that The Venetian Waterways as once again achieved the Green Flag Award is testament to the hard work and dedication of the team that make the green space a great place that everyone can enjoy.

Emma Ratzer MBE, CEO of regional charity Access Community Trust, who are custodians of the 7 acre site commented,

“We are absolutely delighted. Our amazing gardeners Ian and Duncan, alongside volunteers and the wider team at our Island café and boating lake, work tirelessly to ensure this community park can be enjoyed year round in all its splendour.”

This summer, alongside acres of ornamental gardens, the attraction is set to host live entertainment each Saturday and Sunday afternoon at the boating lake alongside a daily schedule of free family and wellbeing activities for the local community and tourists to enjoy.

Commenting on the news that The Venetian Waterways has met the Green Flag Award standard, Keep Britain Tidy’s Accreditation Manager Paul Todd said: 

“I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making Great Yarmouth’s Venetian Waterways worthy of a Green Flag Award. The iconic ornamental gardens and boating lake are a vital green space for the community in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. This award is testament to all the hard work of staff and volunteers, who do so much to ensure that it maintains the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.” 

The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of green spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.

Project Wind Power – by Flipside

Project Wind Power aligned cultural education and place-making ambitions for Great Yarmouth, connecting the town’s young people to their local cultural and industrial heritage and to renewable energy that is increasingly globally important and locally significant, for sustainability, the built environment and for employment opportunities.   It worked with schools and Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust plus artists and practitioners for a project that mixed workshops, presentation, a live, youth-led animation in the public realm and created a lasting legacy in the Venetian Waterway and Gardens – connecting the project to the local landscape/seascape.

In November 2019 FlipSide invited local primary and secondary schools to take part in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) project exploring everything wind powered.  At the heart of the project was the design and creation of a new kinetic sculpture by artist David Watkinson to celebrate the restoration of Great Yarmouth’s historic Venetian Waterways.

Working alongside St George’s Theatre the project began with an artist workshop where young people from 3 primary schools, 1 secondary and 1 PRU met the artist and learnt about the background of making an artwork powered by wind, as well as the history and importance of wind to Great Yarmouth with experts from the Wind Energy Museum.

Flipside also coordinated schools workshops lead by Paul Gionis, award-winning D&T teacher and toy maker extraordinaire, using design and engineering principles to fuse science and art to construct and test out their very own land yacht.

Project Wind Power culminated in a dynamic art installation where the children were invited to explore wind power in action as they tested out their creations from the workshop in a land yacht race along the seafront and visited David’s sculpture as it was unveiled at the Venetian Waterways, creating a vibrant, visual response to the on and off-shore wind turbines that loom large in the local landscape.

In total 127 children joined us at the Waterways.

View the video filmed on the day of the unveiling


Restoration of the Boat Figureheads

We are really excited that three of the original boat figureheads, dating back to the 1950s, have been moved to Skippings Gallery for vital restoration work.

The working being undertaken is of a delicate nature due to the condition and age of the wood. Once restored the figureheads will be placed throughout the Waterways for all to enjoy.

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