Record number of NI parks and open spaces awarded Green Flag status

Half Moon Lake, Belfast. Pic by Elaine Hill
Half Moon Lake, Belfast. Pic by Elaine Hill

A record number of Northern Ireland parks and green spaces have been awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award.

Environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful today revealed details of the 70 parks and green spaces that have been awarded a Green Flag this year.

Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park in south Belfast. '' Pic by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park in south Belfast. '' Pic by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

The Hill of the O’Neill in Dungannon provided the perfect backdrop as the properties received their awards for exceeding tough environmental standards for green space management and visitor facilities.

The Green Flag Award is an internationally recognised certification for environmental quality management for parks and open, green spaces and is growing from strength to strength.

For the 2018/19 season, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful saw a continued increase in public parks, gardens, country parks, cemeteries and green spaces meeting the demanding standards.

There were nine first-time winners this year across all participating council areas, including: Belmont Cemetery in Antrim and Newtownabbey; Loughgall Country Park and Portadown People’s Park in Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon; Connswater Community Greenway and Half Moon Lake in Belfast; Broadmeadow in Fermanagh and Omagh; Moat Park in Lisburn & Castlereagh; Hill of The O’Neill in Mid Ulster and Kilbroney Park in Newry, Mourne and Down.

Loughshore Park, Jordanstown

Loughshore Park, Jordanstown

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful also celebrates The Green Flag Community Award and The Green Heritage Award for sites which conserve, enhance and help people enjoy the heritage value of the site.

Rathfern Activity Centre and Toome Linear Park received their first Green Flag Community Awards and Ballyeaston Church Ruin received its third Green Flag Community Award; these sites are managed and maintained by local community volunteers.

Belfast Botanic Gardens and The Mall in Armagh received their first Green Heritage Award, with Antrim Castle Gardens and Sentry Hill Historic House and Visitor Centre receiving their third Green Heritage Awards; these sites celebrate and promote elements of their heritage that make their site unique.

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, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement.

Belmont Park in east Belfast. 'Pic by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Belmont Park in east Belfast. 'Pic by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Dr Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme. We are proud to have so many wonderful green spaces in Northern Ireland for people to experience, and encourage the public to head outdoors.

“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.”

Anyone interested in finding out more information about the Green Flag Award or other programmes run by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful should email enquiries@keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org call 028 9073 6920.

The full list of 2018/19 Green Flag Award recipients...

Antrim and Newtownabbey:

Newtownabbey Way

Ballynure Cemetery

Lilian Bland Park

Mallusk Cemetery

Rashee Cemetery

Antrim Castle Gardens

Sentry Hill Historic House & Visitor Centre

Jordanstown Loughshore Park, Hazelbank Park and Gideons Green

Valley Park (V36 and Glas-na-braden Glen)

Wallace Park

Kilbride Cemetery

Sixmile Water Park

Mill Race Trail

Belmont Cemetery

Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon:

Lurgan Public Park

Scarva Park

The Mall Armagh City

ABC Canal Greenway

Edenvilla Park

Tannaghmore Gardens

Lough Neagh Conservation Area

Solitude Park

Loughgall Country Park

Portadown People’s Park

Belfast City:

Cavehill Country Park

Dunville Park

Falls Park

Roselawn Cemetery

Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park

Woodvale Park

Belmont Park

Belfast Botanic Gardens (H)

Barnett Demesne

Dunmurry Village

Grove Park

Knocknagoney Park

Lagan Meadows

Musgrave Park

Ormeau Park

Tullycarnet Park

Waterworks Park

Connswater Community Greenway

Half Moon Lake

Department of Finance and Personnel:

Stormont Estate

Derry City and Strabane:

Brooke Park

Fermanagh and Omagh:

Grange Park

Broadmeadow

Lisburn & Castlereagh:

Castle Gardens

Wallace Park

Moat Park

Mid and East Antrim:

Carnfunnock Country Park

Ecos Nature Park

Eden Allotment Gardens

Bashfordsland Wood and Oakfield Glen

Carrickfergus Mill Ponds, Shaftesbury Park & Marine Gardens

Diamond Jubilee Wood

Dixon Park

The People’s Park

Mid Ulster:

Dungannon Park

Maghera Walled Garden

Hill of The O’Neill

Newry, Mourne and Down:

Slieve Gullion Forest Park

Kilbroney Park

COMMUNITY AWARD

Rathfern Community Regeneration Group, Rathfern Activity Centre

Ballyeaston Village Committee, Ballyeaston Church Ruin

Tidal: Toome Linear Park