What is a Green Flag Award?

The Green Flag Award is an international accreditation given to publicly accessible parks and open spaces, managed under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, a UK Government department, by Keep Britain Tidy, who also administers the scheme in England.  The scheme's aim is to promote standards of good management and best-practice amongst the green space sector. It is described by its issuers, Keep Britain Tidy, as an "internationally recognised award that is a benchmark for well-managed green space". (Wikipedia)

Read the assessors' report


The North/South path within the West park has always seemed somewhat threatening after dark.   To make it less so,  Friends of Sandford Park have campaigned and raised the funds to have  lighting installed at the most vulnerable points.  In addition new lights have been installed along the riverside path.  The popular pedestrian and cycle path through the park is one of the major routes to and from the town centre. The scheme brings seven new energy efficient LED lighting columns to the park, including five on the cycle path between College Road and Barrett’s Mill Lane, one in the friendship circle, and one in Annecy Gardens.
The lighting has been installed by Gloucestershire County Council and paid for with £13,000 funding from Cheltenham Borough Council’s Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and £13,000 from the Home Office’s Safer Street fund managed by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire.

Fund raiser, Anne Evans OBE,  Vice-Chair of  the Friends of Sandford Park, said: “Safer Sandford’ demonstrates our commitment to protecting the elderly, female and vulnerable members of our community when using the footpaths after dark. We thank Cheltenham’s CIL fund for the grant and the OPCC for match funding. We are most grateful to the borough council for its support for a safer Sandford.”   
(May 2024)


It's here!!

to We are delighted to tell you that both phases  of our fitness trail have now been installed. . During week commencing 4th September 2023, four  pieces of fitness equipment were installed, two pieces in each of two locations in the East park. One location is close to the boules court, the other is adjacent to the Chalybeate Spa site close to the College Road north side entrance. 

       The second phase was installed on 15th April 2024.  It comprises five additional pieces of equipment all located adjacent to the South path (Lido side).  Three pieces are adjacent to the existing ones close to the boules court.  the other two pieces are on the lower tarmac area next to  to the children's playground and near (but not too near!) the hospital helicopter pad.  Both those pieces and one of those near the boules court are designed for use also by people in wheelchairs or who have other disabilities 
        New fitness equipment in Sandford Park provides a wonderful opportunity to help towards the  health and well being of our community.  Local residents, led by the Friends of Sandford Parks, raised the finances to cover costs through very generous  individual donations, the Jubilee Jolly event in 2022 and from generous grants.

       The idea has been to respond to a clear demand in the Park and at the time the proposal was first acted upon, to commemorate the memory of the late Duke of Edinburgh who devoted much of his influence towards the promotion of healthy lifestyles particularly among the young.

The four original items of equipment installed in September 2023 are:
Double Air Walker; Combination Pull Down and Chest Press; Chin Up bars and Horizontal Ladder. 

Those installed in April 2024 are:

Accessible pull-down and chest press - disabled access;   Arm and pedal bike - disabled usable;  Tai Chi spinners - disabled usable;  Push and dip station;  Double sit-up boards

 (May. 2024)



Two new table tennis tables have been placed for use by the local and extended community. Bring your own bats and ball and enjoy with friends and family. Just make sure everyone gets a turn!


If you have been through the East park recently,  you will have seen that bollards  have been installed at each of the entrances.
There have been problems in recent times of unauthorised vehicles entering the park to use it as a camp site or a late night partying venue.   The bollards have been installed to prevent such misuse of the park.  The bollards can only be opened by those who have been issued with keys.

Friends of Sandford Park  raised the necessary finances through the Build Back Better Fund  run by Gloucestershire County Council.  We are extremely grateful for the Fund's generosity.   All new fixtures in the park are installed with the authority, consent and co-operation of Cheltenham Borough Council for whose support we can all be extremely grateful.  (May 2024)

Friends of Sandford Parks "Jubilee Jolly" 5th June 2022 
- a splendid day for all! 

On the 5th of June 2022, Friends of Sandford Parks (FOSP) held a community event to kick off fundraising to place exercise equipment facilities for the local community to use and to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee.

The local and wider community were invited to attend, with a wealth of entertainment suitable for all – from dog shows to live performers, local sellers and charities to a Royal Fancy Dress Parade. All who attended enjoyed a day of fun.

The event was opened by the Mayor of Cheltenham, Councillor Sandra Holliday, who spent time with everyone who had helped make the event a success. This included FOSP senior management, local charities and small businesses, the local scouts battalion and the University of the Third Age (U3A). Most importantly she opened the new table tennis tables and had a rousing match against local Councillor Paul Baker.

FOSP would like to extend their thanks to the event planning committee who worked tirelessly to make the event a success and to all food vendors, local sellers, entertainers and charities who worked with us to ensure guests had a wonderful time. Last but not least, our thanks to each and every person in the community who chose to spend their time celebrating with us, thereby contributing to the success of the event.

View the gallery

Italian Garden - The Lily Pond

Italian Garden Lily pond    
c1931                                                                                                                                                       2023

Cheltenham Borough Council and the Friends of Sandford Park are embarking on a project to reinstate the water feature back into a lily pond. The first stage of this is to plant the lilies you can now see within the pond. As the pond moves over from chemically managed to a natural filtration system you may see the water not looking at its best. Please bear with us while the pond goes through this process, as the results will be worth it, with a display of beautiful flowers during the summer as well as providing habitat for amphibians and insects.

For any queries please contact the Green Space Team on 01242 262626