Bumper year for Green Flags

More than 1,000 green spaces have been awarded prestigious Green Flag status this year in what has been one of the most successful years in the scheme's history.

The Greater London area showed the highest increase of winners, as 41 new green spaces were awarded flags, including Colliers Wood in Merton and Blackheath on the borders of both Greenwich and Lewisham.

Below Greenwich Council’s portfolio holder for culture and Olympics, John Fahy, explains what the awards mean to his authority.

The scheme is the national standard for parks and green spaces in England and Wales and recognises and rewards the best green spaces in the country.

This year has seen the standard of green spaces in England and Wales reach a new high with an increase of more than 200 new winners.

A spokesman for the awards said: “As the recession bites and people look closer to home to enjoy the outdoors, the provision of high quality, free open spaces is of particular importance.

“One of the most significant aspects of the Green Flag Award is that only green spaces that are free to enter and open to the public are eligible to win.

“The award is a sign to visitors that a park has met strict criteria, which among other things require it to be a clean, safe and welcoming place to spend time.”

He added that the accreditation is a ‘real achievement’ for the 1,013 winners, who in total, scooped 917 Green Flags and 96 Green Pennants.

The Green Pennant Award is presented to green spaces that are managed by voluntary and community groups.

Luke Walsh

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