11/10/2021

Green Flag Award For Parks And Open Spaces

A total of 84 parks and open spaces across Northern Ireland have been recognised with a prestigious Green Flag Award for 2021.

The Green Flag Award is an internationally recognised certification for environmental quality management for parks and open spaces and is increasingly sought after in Northern Ireland, with a 27-fold increase in participants since the local programme opened in 2008.

Local charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, which runs the international awards for NI, announced the list of recipients, including four new Green Flag Awards, one new Community Award and one new Green Flag Heritage Award.
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Rachel Vaughan, who manages the Green Flag Awards programme, said: "We all love a walk through the autumn leaves and it's uplifting to discover a new spot to enjoy. When you visit a Green Flag park or open space you can be reassured that the location is being managed to a really high standard as they've been through a rigorous judging process that assesses sites across a range of issues including their horticultural standards, cleanliness, biodiversity and safety. And at time when many people's finances are under pressure, it's important to highlight the fact that all Green Flag spaces are free to everyone."

The expert judges, who are all volunteers themselves, were delighted to include several community spaces in this year's selection, which are also run and managed by volunteers at a local level. These include: Shellinghill Park and Millennium Path, Sentry Hill Community Garden, Footprints Women's Centre, Rathfern Activity Centre, Toome Linear Walk and Ballyeaston Church Ruin.

Special Green Flag Heritage Awards were presented to Stormont Estate, Brooke Park, Sentry Hill Historic House and Visitor Centre, Antrim Castle Gardens and Clotworthy House, Queen's University Belfast, Warrenpoint Municipal Park, Newry Canal and Belfast Botanic Gardens.

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