Parks, cemeteries and crematoriums across County Durham have once again been awarded a prestigious national status.
A total of 12 Durham County Council sites have received Green Flag accreditation by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, in recognition of the excellent standards of maintenance, management and good practice that keeps them looking great.
It is the third year in a row the council has had a 100 per cent success rate for the 12 sites. The authority also has more Green Flag accredited spaces than any other North East council, and more than any other local authority in the country for its cemeteries and crematoria sites.
On top of its Green Flag, Blackhill and Consett Park also achieved a Green Heritage award for the second year running. This is awarded to green spaces that are managed to Green Flag Award standards, while also understanding, identifying, managing and promoting the elements of their heritage that make them unique.
Cllr Brian Stephens, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships at Durham County Council, said: “To achieve 12 Green flags for a third consecutive year is a fantastic achievement and we are delighted Keep Britain Tidy continues to recognise our excellent standards.
“Each flag awarded honours the volunteers who work in partnership with us to maintain our parks and open spaces in excellent condition.”
The Green Flag scheme was launched in 1996 and is managed by Keep Britain Tidy on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government. Judges look at criteria such as maintenance, conservation and community involvement as well as open spaces being welcoming, healthy, safe and secure.
The council’s 12 Green Flag accredited sites are:
• Annfield Plain Park
• Blackhill and Consett Park
• Castleside Cemetery
• Durham Crematorium and Woodland Cemetery
• Hardwick Park, Sedgefield
• Moorside Cemetery
• Mountsett Crematorium
• Riverside Park, Chester le Street
• Ropery Lane Cemetery, Chester le Street
• Sacriston Cemetery
• Town Recreation Park, Bishop Auckland
• Wharton Park, Durham City
To find out more about parks and green spaces in County Durham, visit www.durham.gov.uk/parks