Local parks fly the flag for top quality green spaces

Volunteer of the Year HM L-R: Karina Magee and Ian Humphreys Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful; Deputy Lord Mayor Sam Nicholson, Volunteer Melvin Spearing who received an Honourable mention at the awards, Russel Eastwood Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council; Anna Lo and Jen Firth Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.
Volunteer of the Year HM L-R: Karina Magee and Ian Humphreys Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful; Deputy Lord Mayor Sam Nicholson, Volunteer Melvin Spearing who received an Honourable mention at the awards, Russel Eastwood Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council; Anna Lo and Jen Firth Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.

Dromore Town Park and Soltitude Park, Banbridge have been awarded Green Flag status for 2017/2018.

The Green Flag Award is an internationally recognised certification for environmental quality management for parks and open, green spaces.

Dromore Town Park and Solitude Park Banbridge are two of 60 parks and green spaces in Northern Ireland to receive the award in a record year for sites receiving the flag.

There were a total of nine sites in the Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council area awarded with ABC Canal Greenway, Lough Neagh Conservation Area and The Mall Armagh City receiving their first Green Flags.

Other sites in the council area awarded were Tannaghmore Gardens; Oxford Island; Edenvilla Park; Lurgan Public Park and Palace Demense.

For the 2017/18 season, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful saw a continued increase in public parks, gardens, country parks, cemeteries and green spaces meeting the demanding standards. The Green Flag Awards are judged annually by green space experts, who volunteer their time to visit applicant sites and assess them against eight strict criteria, ranging from horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement.

Dr Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme. Parks matter to our society; this year more than 37 million people throughout the UK will visit a park, this is five million more than voted in June’s General Election.

“The Green Flag Award is a sign of a well-managed, clean and safe park and with many people increasingly relying on their local park as a place to exercise, relax and have fun, quality green space has never been more important.

“Research shows that people will only visit a park if they perceive it to be clean and safe; and the Green Flag Award is an easy way for the public to see at a glance that their park meets the highest standards.

“All the flags flying this year are a testament to the efforts of the hundreds of men and women, both staff and volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”

If you are interested in finding out further information about the Green Flag Award or other programmes run by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful email enquiries@keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org call on 028 9073 6920.