County Durham parks in running for national award

County Durham’s best kept parks and green spaces are up for a national award.

Keep Britain Tidy is asking people across the country to choose their Park of the Year and six County Durham sites are in the running.

Blackhill and Consett Park; Annfield Plain Park; Chester-le-Street Riverside Park; Hardwick Park, Sedgefield; Wharton Park, Durham; and Bishop Auckland Town Recreation Ground are all eligible for the People’s Choice Award as they hold Green Flag Status.

The Green Flag Award recognises excellence and good practice in the management and development of parks and open spaces in England and Wales.

Durham County Council, which oversees the county’s six Green Flag parks, is calling on members of the public to take part in the vote and secure the People’s Choice Award for the county.

Cllr Brian Stephens, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “We are very proud of our parks and green spaces here in County Durham.

“The fact that we have six Green Flags is fantastic but it really would be a wonderful achievement if we won Park of the Year.”

People can cast their vote online by visiting www.greenflagaward.org, clicking on County Durham on the interactive map and selecting their favourite park from the list.

Voting closes on Saturday, 30 September and the UK’s 10 most popular parks and green spaces will be announced in October.

For more information about Green Flags in County Durham, visit www.durham.gov.uk/greenflags.

The Green Flag Award scheme was launched in 1996. Any green space which is open to the public and is free to enter is eligible for a Green Flag. This includes local authority sites, universities, housing associations, cemeteries and shopping centres. Community and voluntary groups can apply for the Green Flag Community Award.

Green Flag Awards are a national standard recognising excellence and good practice in the management and development f parks and open spaces in England and Wales.

The awards reflect the high standards of maintenance needed to keep sites looking good and also the involvement of local communities in their upkeep through friends groups and volunteer activity.

Green Flag Award applications are assessed against eight criteria:

  • A welcoming place
  • Healthy, safe and secure
  • Well maintained and clean
  • Environmental management
  • Biodiversity, landscape and heritage
  • Community involvement
  • Management/achievements

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