Mid Ulster beauty spots maintain prestigious Green Flag Awards
Three Mid Ulster District Council parks and green spaces are among the 78 green spaces here to be awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award by Environmental Charity, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful for 2020.
The Hill of The O’Neill, Dungannon Park and Maghera Walled Garden were all awarded the Green Flag Award. Parks and open spaces wishing to achieve Green Flag status must have a site management plan in place and be able to demonstrate they comply with a range of strict criteria including horticultural standards, cleanliness, environmental management, biodiversity, community involvement and safety standards.
Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Cathal Mallaghan said, “The continuing achievement of the Green Flag Awards across the three Mid Ulster sites of Hill of The O’Neill, Dungannon Park and Maghera Walled Garden, especially in the challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, is testament to the hard work our staff put in to ensure that our high quality green spaces remained open, and continue to be as accessible, environmentally sustainable, and as pleasant to use as they possibly can be for members of the public.
“Our outdoor spaces contribute to the physical and mental health and well-being of our local community through providing calm, peaceful, green spaces that allow us to get in touch with nature, and relax and revive in the great outdoors, something that is even more important as we deal with the challenges of COVID-19 in our communities.”
Dr Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful said: “Northern Ireland’s parks and open spaces play a hugely important role in supporting our local communities, both in terms of providing recreational space but also for supporting health and wellbeing. This has been highlighted now more than ever as our parks and open spaces provided a haven to many during the difficult lockdown period. It is fantastic to see such a high number of sites in Northern Ireland meeting the international standard for excellence.”
The Awards are judged annually by a panel of experts, who volunteer their time to assess the management plans and the applicant sites through a rigorous judging process. A Green Flag flying overhead is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.
All three sites managed by the Council are proud to fly the Green Flag in recognition of the outstanding quality of their green space and the hard work and dedication required to achieve such an outstanding award.
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