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27/07/2017

Record Number Of Belfast Parks Win Green Flag Award

A record number of parks in Belfast have been awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award this year, it has been announced.

The Green Flag Award is an internationally recognised certification for environmental quality management of parks and open, green spaces. Only those parks and green spaces which exceed tough environmental and management standards are deemed worthy of a Green Flag.

For the 2017/18 season, environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful saw a continued increase in public parks, gardens, country parks, cemeteries and green spaces meeting the standards.

Dunmurry Village and Tullycarnet Park are both first time winners, with a further 15 Belfast parks retaining their Green Flag status, including: Barnett Demesne, Botanic Gardens, Belmont Park, Cavehill Country Park, Dunville Park, Falls Park, Grove Park, Knocknagoney Park, Lagan Meadows, Musgrave Park, Ormeau Park, Roselawn Cemetery, Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park, Waterworks Park and Woodvale Park.

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 and cleanliness to sustainability and community involvement.
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Alderman Tommy Sandford, Chairperson of Belfast City Council's People and Communities Committee said: "We're absolutely delighted to be flying the Green Flag at 17 of our parks and green open spaces this year. It's a real vote of confidence in the quality of our city's parks and open green spaces and recognition of our parks team's dedication, knowledge and professionalism on a daily basis. 

"Thanks to our staff's commitment, Belfast's parks offer wonderful havens for communities and visitors to enjoy exercising, free family events, learning more about the environment, or simply spending some quiet time in nature."

Dr Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful added: "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."

(MH/LM)

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