County Durham is leading the way after 12 of its parks and cemeteries received prestigious environmental awards – but there was nothing for Newton Aycliffe.
The Durham County Council sites have been given Green Flag accreditation by the charity Keep Britain Tidy, in recognition of the excellent standards of maintenance, management and good practice which keep them looking great.
For the second year in a row there was a 100% success rate for the 12 sites.
This means the council has the most Green Flag accredited sites of all the North East local authorities; and the most of any authority in the country for its cemeteries and crematorium sites.
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 full list of sites includes:
Parks: Hardwick Park, Sedgefield; Riverside Park, Chester-le-Street; Wharton Park, Durham City; Annfield Plain Park; Blackhill and Consett Park; Town Recreation Park, Bishop Auckland
Cemeteries/crematoria: Castleside Cemetery; Durham crematorium and cemetery; Moorside Cemetery; Mountsett Crematorium; Ropery Lane Cemetery; Sacriston Cemetery.
Cllr Brian Stephens, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “We are delighted that again so many of our parks and cemeteries have achieved Green Flag status from Keep Britain Tidy.
“Each flag awarded honours the volunteers who work in partnership with us to maintain our parks and open spaces in excellent condition.
“We are proud to have so many wonderful green spaces in County Durham for people to visit and enjoy.”