Published July 18, 2017 12.01am
Parks, cemeteries and crematoriums in County Durham have landed a prestigious national status.
A total of 12 of our sites have been given Green Flag accreditation by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, in recognition of the excellent standards of maintenance, management and good practice which keep them looking great.
We have this year achieved a 100 per cent success rate with all the sites put forward for the status receiving it. The figure of 12 is up from the ten which were given Green Flags in 2016, with first-time submission Wharton Park in Durham City and Annfield Plain Park - re-submitted having not been entered last year - the two new recipients.
On top of its Green Flag, Blackhill and Consett Park also achieved a Green Heritage award. Green Heritage Site Accreditation is awarded to green spaces that are managed to Green Flag Award standards and also actively understand, identify, manage and promote the elements of their heritage that make them unique.
The Green Flag scheme was launched in 1996 and is managed by Keep Britain Tidy on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Judges look at criteria such as maintenance, conservation and community involvement as well as open spaces being welcoming, healthy, safe and secure.
The full list of sites is as follows:
Blackhill and Consett Park
Hardwick Park, Sedgefield
Riverside Park, Chester-le-Street
Town Recreation Park, Bishop Auckland
Wharton Park, Durham City
Annfield Plain Park
Mountsett Crematorium, Dipton
Ropery Lane Cemetery, Chester-le-Street
South Road Cemetery and Crematorium, Durham City
Further information is available at our Green Flags web page.
Our leader Cllr Simon Henig said: "We are delighted that so many of our parks and cemeteries have achieved Green Flag status - this demonstrates they are being managed and maintained to the high standard of national excellence. It's a great result."
Cllr Brian Stephens, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, added: "We are absolutely delighted to receive the Green Flag Awards from Keep Britain Tidy.
"The awards highlight and recognise the fact that people in County Durham are benefitting from green spaces of the highest quality.
"These are truly 'community' awards and we would like to thank all the volunteers who work in partnership with us to keep our parks and open spaces in excellent condition."