Belfast Telegraph

Council flags up double award for city’s parks

Two Belfast public parks are flying the flag of distinction — having each been awarded the esteemed ‘Green Flag’.

Last week, Musgrave Park in south Belfast and Cavehill Country Park in the north of the city were awarded with the Green Flag honour — a United Kingdom sign of excellence and quality.

Presenting the award to Musgrave Park last Wednesday, July 28, lord mayor, Pat Convery, said: “These awards are testament to the standards of parks in Belfast and for Cave Hill Country Park to have achieved it two years in a row demonstrates we are not about one off achievements but are committed to maintaining high standards in our parks.

“Our success rate for the awards is 100% to date and we hope to achieve more awards for other sites in the future. The public has told us they want Belfast to be a safer, cleaner, greener city and these awards indicate we are achieving that.”

The awards are run by the charities Keep Britain Tidy, BTCV and GreenSpace and are the equivalent of blue flags for beaches.

Paul Todd, Manager, Green Flag Award Scheme, said: “It is a remarkable achievement that so many parks, 1,200 across the UK have successfully reached Green Flag Award status this year.

“As the recession bites and people look closer to home to enjoy the outdoors, the provision of high-quality, free open spaces are of particular importance.”

At the cermony the lord mayor also praised members of the local community who work with parks to ensure they are well used and loved, saying the award was for them too.

Belfast City Council intend to continue its improvement plans for parks and green spaces generally and are to work towards more parks achieving the national standard next year.

Mr Convery explained: “We have been working to drive down anti-social behaviour and to encourage locals and visitors to spend time in and enjoy all our parks.

“They provide a memorable experience with new things to discover each time you visit and it is important we protect them for people to enjoy today and for the generations to come.”

At present, there are only five parks in Northern Ireland to have achieved the standard which is judged on criteria such as park management, environment, ambience, safety and security.

It is the second year in a row that Cavehill Country Park has been included.

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