SEVEN city parks are flying the flag for environmental excellence.
Green flags are awarded annually by a partnership of national environmental and conservation groups, led by Keep Britain Tidy, and recognise outstanding parks across the country which demonstrate a commitment to continual improvement and development.
City council-run Barnes, Herrington Country Park, Hetton Lyons, Mowbray, Roker and Usworth parks have all received the honour, along with Elba Park near Shiney Row, which is operated by the Land Trust.
Coun Michael Mordey is the city council’s Portfolio Holder for City Services, said: “This award recognises and highlights that people across our city are benefiting from green spaces of the very highest quality,” he said.
“Naturally, everyone is delighted that our parks are again being recognised nationally for their excellence.
“While the Green Flag has flown over Mowbray, Roker, Barnes and Herrington Country parks for several years, this is the second year running for Usworth Park and Hetton Lyons Country Park.
“It is a great achievement for everyone involved - from the public who enjoy our parks and open spaces, the groups and friends of our parks, and staff who help maintain these nationally recognised standards.”
Parks awarded the Green Flag standard have to satisfy eight criteria: they must be welcoming; offer a healthy, safe and secure environment; be clean and well-maintained; be sustainable; show a commitment to conservation and heritage; promote community involvement; be well marketed and promoted; and be properly managed. Keep Britain Tidy’s Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “We are delighted to announce yet another record-breaking year for Green Flag Award parks and green spaces.
“A Green Flag Award provides national recognition for all the parks managers, staff and volunteers who, through their dedication and hard work, have helped to create these fantastic places for everyone to enjoy.
“Quality green spaces are a vital resource for communities and that is why it is so significant that we have given out more awards than ever before.”