Five parks in the Sunderland area have been awarded Green Flags – a mark of excellence similar to the Blue Flags bestowed on outstanding beaches.

Yesterday, a record-breaking 1,797 parks and open spaces across the country received Green Flag Awards.  

The awards have a history of boosting tourism and revenue for the spaces concerned and can help to regenerate local communities.

The Wearside parks that scooped the honour were Roker Park, Mowbray Park, Barnes Park, Hetton Lyons Country Park and Herrington Country Park, which looks onto the Penshaw Monument. 

A Green Flag tells the public that a park or open space is properly maintained, that it boasts superb facilities for visitors and that it meets strict environmental standards.

The awards also take account of how well any historic features in the spaces are looked after. 

Michael Mordey, Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for city services, commented, “We are absolutely delighted to once again receive these Green Flag Awards.” 

“It is a remarkable achievement when you look at the level of funding the service has lost in recent years because of government cuts.”

“We know how much quality green spaces matter to residents and visitors.”

“It is a huge achievement for the city and a tribute to everyone involved in their maintenance and upkeep – not just council staff, but also the volunteers who give up so much of their own time.”

The Green Flag Awards are run by Keep Britain Tidy. The manager of the Green Flag scheme, Paul Todd, said, “We are delighted to be celebrating a record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award Scheme.”

“Each flag is a celebration of the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”

“The success of the scheme, especially in these challenging times, demonstrates just how much parks matter to people.”

(Featured image courtesy of Brian, from Flickr Creative Commons)

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