Gosford Forest Park and Brownstown Park, Portadown were recognised with a Green Flag Award for the first time at this year’s annual awards event, organised by leading environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.
The Green Flag Award – an internationally recognised certification for environmental quality management for parks and open spaces – continues to go from strength to strength with a record number of 76 locations across Northern Ireland recognised this year.
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough was among the top three council areas to take home the largest number of Green Flags.
Seven other locations across the borough also achieved a Green Flag Award after demonstrating they comply with a range of strict criteria including horticultural standards, cleanliness, environmental management, biodiversity, community involvement and safety standards.
They include ABC Canal Greenway, Edenvilla Park, Lurgan Public Park, Portadown People’s Park, Solitude Park, Tannaghmore Gardens and the Palace Park.
Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Mealla Campbell, who attended the awards presentation at Queen’s University, was delighted to see the borough perform exceptionally well in the scheme this year.
Councillor Campbell commented: “Our significant collection of Green Flags are a ringing endorsement of how well we manage and maintain our parks and open spaces. Well done to the council staff who work hard all year to ensure we sustain our success in this scheme.
“I am particularly pleased about our two first-time Green Flag winners especially as they have both benefitted from major council investment in recent times.
“Brand new play facilities were opened in Brownstown Park last year. Despite only taking on responsibility for recreation management of Gosford Forest Park at the start of this year, the council has introduced new multi-use trails and is progressing plans to create a unique outdoor play adventure experience – the first of its kind on the island of Ireland.
“It’s our ambition to make the borough a premier destination in Northern Ireland offering the best outdoor recreational activities and our collection of Green Flag Awards only serve to demonstrate our commitment to this.”
The full list of Green Flag Award winners can be found at www.keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org