248 parks and green spaces in Wales have received the prestigious Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award. They include a diverse range of sites, from country parks and formal gardens, to allotments, woodlands and churchyards.

Now in its third decade, the international Green Flag Award is a sign to the public that a park or green space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

First-time winners include Parc Slip in Bridgend, Bwlch Nant yr Arian which is managed by Natural Resources Wales in Aberystwyth and Gronant Sand Dunes in Denbighshire.  

Padarn Country Park, Llanberis

Cllr Tony Thomas, Denbighshire County Council’s Lead Member for Housing and Communities, said: “The Council’s Countryside Service is delighted the Gronant Dunes Site of Special Scientific Interest has been awarded Keep Wales Tidy’s prestigious Green Flag Award.”

“This area is outstanding in terms of landscape, character and its biodiversity value and is home to the last remaining Little Tern colony in Wales.”

A lot of effort has been put into upgrading the infrastructure at the site and which allows both visitors and residents to appreciate the natural beauty whilst keeping disturbance to a minimum and I’d like to thank all the staff and volunteers who have worked so hard to make this possible.”

Wales still holds more than a third of the UK’s Green Flag community sites, which are maintained and run by volunteers. A variety of green spaces have achieved the Green Flag Community Award for the first time including Church Island on Anglesey and the Laundry room at Tredegar house, Newport.

Julie James, the Welsh Government’s Minister for Climate Change, said: “Green spaces are vital for mental and physical well-being 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.”

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. 

Lucy Prisk, Green Flag Coordinator at Keep Wales Tidy said:

“The pandemic showed us just how important high-quality parks and green spaces are to our communities. With more visitors than ever enjoying our green spaces, I’d like to congratulate the hard work of staff and volunteers who have maintained excellent standards at these sites.”

A full list of award winners can be found on the Keep Wales Tidy website www.keepwalestidy.cymru. Keep Wales Tidy are always on the lookout for new places to join the Green Flag Awards. If you’d like to put your park or green space on the map, visit the Keep Wales Tidy website www.keepwalestidy.cymru for more information.