Wildlife numbers on the up at Elba Park, the green space born out of the former Lambton Cokeworks
A park is going from strength-to-strength as it attracts more wildlife, visitors and awards.
For the seventh year running the 53-hectare (31-acre) Elba Park has been awarded a Green Flag, which recognises well managed parks and green spaces across the UK.
Any free to enter public park or green space is eligible to apply for the award, but few manage to win one, even once.
Green Flag winners must be managed in a way that has a positive impact on the local and global environment and should aim to enhance biodiversity.
The award also recognises how green spaces bring people together and meet the needs of the community they serve.
The park, which opened in 2010, is managed by environmental charity Groundwork UK, which is part of the Land Trust.
Formerly the site of the Lambton Cokeworks, Elba now provides a rich haven for wildlife that in turn attracts thousands of visitors.
It is an attempt to record all the different species of wildlife on site in a 24-hour period and is hugely popular with children.
Sunderland City Council is supporting the event. There will be a range of activities over the weekend including wildflower walks, mini-beast surveys, pond dipping and much more.
Becky Vickers, community project manager at Groundwork, is delighted by the award and the number of visitors the park is drawing in.
She said: “We are thrilled to be awarded our Green Flag for a seventh year running.
“Every year we see an increase in both the amount of wildlife on site, and the numbers of people who use the park and support our activities.
“We are grateful for all the hard work of our dedicated volunteers and park users who help us keep Elba Park in such a great state.”
International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “Each flag honours the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.
“We congratulate each and every winner on their fantastic achievement.”