Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Still Flying the Green Flag Proudly

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Still Flying the Green Flag Proudly

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Kelly Social Affairs Correspondent

A NATIONAL award scheme has shown that the grass is truly greener in the North East. For 39 parks across the region are now flying a Green Flag Award after being judged to be among best in the country.

Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy has revealed they are among 1,476 nationwide which provide a quality green space.

Durham is in the UK Top Ten with 15 Green Flag Awards, making it joint eighth alongside City of London and Bournemouth.

Meanwhile first time winner Newcastle University is one of only 11 in the UK to boast an award for its King's Campus.

The Green Flag Awards are judged by 700 volunteer judges who visit sites and assess them against eight criteria, including cleanliness, sustainability and conservation.

Parks in North Tyneside received five awards. Coun Eddie Darke, cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: "We're extremely proud of our parks, and the awards reflect our commitment to ensuring they are wonderful places for residents and visitors, alike. As well as thanking the staff, I would also like to thank the Friends' group from the different parks who have been instrumental in achieving the Green Flags."

The news follows the completion of a PS7m restoration project of Wallsend Parks. Finished earlier in the year, it included a renovation of its 40 acres of woodland walks and gardens, a new cafe, tennis courts, skate park, community room for hire, bowling greens, sculpture trail and restored Victorian bandstand.

Northumberland landed six awards. Coun Ian Swithenbank, policy board member responsible for parks at the county council said: "They highlight and recognise that residents and visitors are bene-fitting from green spaces of the very highest quality.

"We are extremely grateful for the support and commitment of local people and friends groups who help to keep parks vibrant and extremely well-used."

And for the sixth year, South Marine Park in South Tyneside received a Green Flag.

Coun Tracey Dixon, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council, said: "South Marine Park is a real jewel in South Tyneside's crown and we are thrilled that once again it been given national recognition with a prestigious Green Flag Award. …

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