Keep Wales Tidy has unveiled this year’s winners of its prestigious Green Flag Award – the international mark of a quality park or green space.
A total of 265 parks and green spaces across the country have received the prestigious Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award – from country parks and formal gardens, to allotments, woodlands and churchyards.
In Neath Port Talbot, Green Flags will now be flying at Margam Country Park, Gnoll Estate Country Park, Victoria Gardens and the Talbot Memorial Park in recognition of their excellent visitor facilities, high environmental standards, and commitment to delivering great quality green space.
And Green Flag Community Awards, the benchmark for community managed parks or green spaces, have gone in Neath Port Talbot to: The Amman Valley Trotting Club, Cilybebyll Community Growers, Riverside Park, Pontardawe, The Friends of Neath Abbey Iron Company, The Lane Community Garden, Melyncryddan and Vivian Park Nature Garden, Port Talbot.
Cllr Jeremy Hurley, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Wellbeing, said: “Well done to all our parks staff whose hard work has rightly been recognised and I also want to congratulate all the dedicated volunteers on their Community Awards which are very much deserved.
“Our parks and green spaces are essential for mental and physical wellbeing – they make places nicer to live in, their trees help with air quality and provide habitats for wildlife and they give those who in urban locations easy access to nature.”
The Green Flag programme is delivered in Wales by Keep Wales Tidy, with support from Welsh Government. Independent green space experts judged applicant sites against eight strict criteria, including biodiversity, cleanliness, environmental management, and community involvement.
Welsh Government Minister for Climate Change, Julie James said: “Our local green spaces have a vital role to play in connecting us to nature. These awards go to prove that Wales’s parks and similar areas are doing a wonderful job in providing quality places to relax and enjoy.
“The standard required to achieve Green Flag status is very high so I want to congratulate all of the sites recognised for providing excellent, year-round facilities to local people and visitors alike.”