Prestigious Green Flags for South Tyneside Parks
South Tyneside is celebrating four parks securing respected quality awards placing them among the best green spaces in the country.
Readhead Park in South Shields and West Park Jarrow both retained the coveted Green Flag status. While North Marine Park in South Shields and Monkton Dene Park in Jarrow are flying the flag for the first time.
Green Flags are a celebration of parks and green spaces of the highest quality and are awarded by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy. Having a Green Flag flying overhead is a marker to the public that the park holds the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and offers excellent visitor facilities.
Councillor Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Transport and Neighbourhoods, said: "It is wonderful news that West Park Jarrow and Readhead Park have both retained the prestigious Green Flag Award and we are incredibly pleased to see the newly restored North Marine Park and Monkton Dene Park being awarded for the first time.
"Green Flag awards are a sign of a well-managed, clean and safe park. They are much sought-after and are not given out lightly. It's a fantastic achievement.
"We know how important our green spaces are for both residents and visitors alike. With the summer holidays underway, this is the perfect time to get out and enjoy quality time with their friends and loved ones in our beautiful parks."
Keeping the Green Flag parks looking their best is a joint effort between South Tyneside Council and the local 'Friends of' groups.
Councillor Ruth Berkley, Lead Member for Voluntary Sector, Partnerships and Equalities, said: "These highly respected awards are testament to all the hard work and dedication of all those who help to take care of these sites and maintain them to such a high standard.
"A special thank you must go to the Friends of groups, volunteers and staff. They do so much all year round to ensure our parks remain beautiful, clean, safe and welcoming spaces for visitors to enjoy. National recognition is such an incredible achievement. Well done to all those involved."
The newly-awarded Monkton Dene Park, also known locally as John Jarvis Park, is looked after by the Primrose Parks Alliance, whose volunteers carry out regular activities and community events in the park, from litter picking and planting as well as engaging with local schools and businesses.
The Green Flag for the historic North Marine Park also comes following major restoration work over recent years.
The £3.2m project, supported with £2.4m of National Lottery funding through the Parks for People scheme, involved reinstating some of the site's original features, such as the Grand Promenade Staircase and original Grotto structure as well as the refurbishment of the bowling clubhouse and green. New elements were also introduced, including the Word Beacon artwork, children's play area and adult fitness trail.
It continues to be maintained by the Council, alongside the Friends of North and South Marine Parks and support from Marine Park Veterans Social and Bowling Club.
This year has been a record-breaking year for the Green Flag Awards, with more than 2,200 sites across the UK meeting the tough criteria demanded by the Award.
Keep Britain Tidy's Accreditation Manager, Paul Todd said: "I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making the parks worthy of a Green Flag Award.
"These are vital green spaces for the community. This award is testament to all the hard work of staff and volunteers, who do so much to ensure that they maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award."
The success of all four parks supports the delivery of the Council's community priority of investing in the natural and built environment.
For further information about parks in South Tyneside visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/parks
The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of green spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.
Notes to Editors:
The Green Flag Award Scheme (http://greenflagaward.org/) is run by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, in partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful, Keep Wales Tidy and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.
Keep Britain Tidy is a leading environmental charity. It sets the standard for the management of parks and beaches, inspires people to be litter-free, to waste less and live more sustainably. It runs campaigns and programmes including the Great British Spring Clean, Eco-Schools, Love Parks, Eco-Schools, the Green Flag Award for parks and green spaces and the Blue Flag/ Seaside Awards for beaches. To find out more about Keep Britain Tidy, its campaigns and programmes visit www.keepbritaintidy.org.
Any green space that is freely accessible to the public is eligible to enter for a Green Flag Award. Awards are given on an annual basis and winners must apply each year to renew their Green Flag Award status. A Green Flag Community Award recognises quality sites managed by voluntary and community groups. Green Heritage Site Accreditation is judged on the treatment of the site's historic features and the standard of conservation.
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