The Green Flag Award Scheme has unveiled this year’s winners, including two local parks.
In total, 1,476 parks, cemeteries, universities, shopping centres and community gardens - Dromore Town Park and Scarva Park among them - met the required standard.
Awarded by the Environmental Charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and supported by Heyn Waste Solutions, the Green Flag is an esteemed award, setting an international benchmark standard for parks and green spaces. A Green Flag flying overhead is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible standards.
Dromore Town Park and Scarva Park, both managed by Banbridge District Council, are now entitled to fly the Green Flag in recognition of the outstanding quality of their green space and the hard work and dedication required to achieve such an outstanding award.
“We are delighted that both parks have achieved this quality and environmental recognition,” explained Lynsey Daly, Banbridge District Council Waste and Environmental Manager.
“It is acknowledgement to the tireless effort undertaken by council staff to ensure the parks are kept clean, well maintained and accessible for the general public.
“We know that the public who help us look after the parks and use them regularly will be proud to have this flag flying over their green spaces.”
The Green Flag Awards are judged by more than 700 volunteer experts who visit applicant sites and assess them against eight strict criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement.
International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “It’s another record-breaking year for the scheme. This is something well worth celebrating and testament to the efforts of the thousands of men and women, supported by some amazing volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded.
Councillor and Banbridge District Council Environmental Services committee Chairman, Olive Mercer, said she was delighted with the news. “Congratulations go to all the staff involved in planning and maintaining the parks and of course a huge thank-you as well to all the local residents who contributed to making the parks such welcoming places.”