Two parks in South Tyneside have been named among the best in the UK - and that's official.
South Marine Park and, for the first time, West Park in Jarrow, have been awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award by environmental charity keep Britain Tidy. They are among a record-breaking 1,686 parks and green spaces in the UK to receive the mark of a quality park or green space.
This is the eighth year in succession that South Marine Park has received the award but it is a coup for South Tyneside Council and the local Friends group to see West Park also receiving recognition.
Councillor Moira Smith, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: "It is wonderful news to learn that two of our parks have been recognised. Having the Green Flag is a sign to residents and visitors that these parks boast the highest possible standards, are beautifully maintained and have excellent facilities.
"With the school summer holidays just starting, it is reassuring for families and visitors to know that South Tyneside really does have some of the best parks in the country."
Paul Moore chair of the friends of West Park, Jarrow, said: "As a group we are so pleased that we have been awarded the green flag award. We have worked really hard over the last six years and the hard work has all paid off. The park is looking so beautiful at the moment and we all feel very proud of what we have achieved. I would just like to thank all the people and businesses who have helped us over the past six years.
"We are always looking for new volunteers to come along and help out we can be contacted on our Facebook page friends of West Park Jarrow or email email@example.com or if you would like to make a donation we also have a just giving page."
Keeping the parks looking at their best is a joint effort between South Tyneside Council's Green Space Team, partners ISS Facility Services and Glendale Services as well as the local Friends of the Park groups.
Keep Britain Tidy's International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: "We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme, especially as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Awards.
"All the flags flying this year are a testament to the thousands of men and women, both staff and volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award."