A historic waterways intersection has been recognised with a Green Flag Award this week.

The Saul Junction, on the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal and Stroudwater Canal, is cared for by waterways and wellbeing charity the Canal and River Trust and was handed the award yesterday.

Once a bustling meeting place for ships from around the world the junction is now a haven of tranquility where people go to escape busy lives. It is enjoyed by walkers, wildlife watchers, cyclists, anglers and hundreds of boaters every year.

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

Canal and River Trust director for Wales and South West Mark Evans is delighted with the news: “We are so proud to be recognised with this award. It is due in no small part to the hard work of our volunteers and colleagues who lovingly care for this special place. Its name implies a busy crossroads – which it certainly would have been in its heyday – but now it’s somewhere to escape to.

"Those innovative engineers who designed Saul Junction as a transport hub would be surprised that it’s now a green oasis making life better offering green and blue health benefits for hundreds of visitors. But I’m sure they’d be gratified to know that its value to people is as great as it ever was.”

Saul Junction is one of more than 2,000 sites across the country to collect the award for 2020.

Commenting on Saul Junction’s success, Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “This year, more than ever, our parks and green spaces have been a lifeline and we know that millions of people have used them to relax, meet friends, exercise or simply escape for a short time.

“It is testament to the incredible dedication and hard work of parks staff and volunteers that, despite the challenges that went along with record numbers of visitors, Saul Junction has achieved the highest international standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”

Saul Junction Visitor Centre is run by the Costwold Canals Trust. And while the Canal & River Trust is the charity that cares for 2,000 miles of waterways (including the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal), both charities work together on a number of projects around Saul Junction and the Stroudwater Navigation.