THE VALE of Glamorgan’s green spaces have been celebrated, with the county earning numerous Green Flag awards.
Green Flag status is given to well managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of recreational outdoor spaces in the UK and worldwide.
Cosmeston Country Park in Penarth, and Porthkerry Country Park in Barry have both received the accolade, along with:
- Alexandra Park, Penarth
- Barry Island Seafront, Barry
- Belle Vue Park, Penarth
- Central Park, Barry
- Friars Point, Barry
- Gladstone Gardens, Barry
- Knap Gardens, Barry
- Romilly Park, Barry
- Victoria Park, Barry
- Windsor Gardens, Penarth
Merthyr Dyfan cemetery, which is maintained by Barry Town Council also gained a Green Flag, while 15 sites received Community Awards:
- Barry Community Garden
- Bee Loud Glade
- Birchgrove Woodlands
- Cwmtalwg Local Nature Reserve
- Elizabethan Orchard
- Victoria Square
- Goldsland Farm
- Lanlay Orchard
- Little Hill Brock Street
- Nightingale Garden
- Old Hall Gardens
- Upper Orchard Field Wenvoe
- Welsh Orchard Wenvoe
- Wenvoe Community Orchard
- Wenvoe Wild Orchard
Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet member for Leisure, Arts and Culture, Cllr Kathryn McCaffer, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the Vale has once again excelled in gaining so many Green-Flag parks.
“Given our resources compared to other authorities, this is a truly remarkable achievement and testament to the hard work put in by our parks staff. It is their commitment that keeps our green spaces looking fantastic all year around.
“I would like to add special thanks and congratulations to the volunteer and community groups who have also been recognised for their dedication and ongoing hard work.
“The standard required to achieve Green Flag status is extremely high and a great deal of effort is put in behind the scenes to ensure residents have so many fantastic outdoor areas to enjoy in the Vale.”
Parks must apply each year to keep their award, and winning sites are eligible to fly a Green Flag for 12 months.
The Green Flag Award programme is delivered in Wales by environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy, with support from Welsh Government.
Independent green space experts volunteered their time in early autumn to judge applicant sites against eight strict criteria, including biodiversity, cleanliness, environmental management, and community involvement.
Julie James, the Welsh Government’s Minister for Climate Change, said: “Green spaces are vital for mental and physical wellbeing and throughout the pandemic we have seen how important these spaces have been for local communities.
“Wales still holds more than a third of the UK’s Green Flag community sites and it is fantastic to see more places in Wales receiving Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award.
“These landscapes play a vital role in delivering rich ecosystems and vibrant and resilient communities, and I congratulate all of the sites for providing excellent, year-round facilities and events for people in Wales.”
A full list of award winners can be found on the Keep Wales Tidy website www.keepwalestidy.cymru