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Flying the Flag for South Tyneside Parks

South Tyneside is celebrating three parks securing prestigious quality awards placing them among the best in the country.

South Marine Park and West Park in South Shields and West Park in Jarrow have retained the sought-after Green Flag Award again this year.

Green Flag Awards are a celebration of parks and green spaces of the highest quality and are handed out by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy. Having a Green Flag flying overhead is a marker to the public that the park boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

Councillor Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council, said: "It is great news that South Marine Park and the West Parks in Jarrow and South Shields have retained the respected Green Flag Award. It's a fantastic achievement.

"These awards are not given out lightly. The Green Flags are a sign of a well-managed, clean and safe park and with many people increasingly visiting their local parks to enjoy the outdoors, meet friends, relax or exercise, quality green space has never been more important."

Keeping South Marine Park, West Park South Shields and West Park Jarrow looking their best is a joint effort between South Tyneside Council and the local 'Friends of' parks groups.

Councillor Gibson added: "These highly respected awards are testament to all the hard work and dedication that goes into maintaining these sites to such a high standard.

"I would particularly like to thank all those people - the Friends groups, volunteers and staff - who do so much all year round to ensure our parks remain beautiful spaces for visitors to enjoy. National recognition is such an incredible achievement. Well done to all those involved."

Gladys Hobson, Chair of the Friends of West Park, South Shields, said: "We are thrilled that West Park South Shields has retained the Green Flag award in recognition of the high standards we all work so hard to maintain, from planting activities and litter picking to more recently overseeing the refurbishment of our beautiful Grade II listed bandstand.

"This historic space has been a real asset to the local community for more than a century and our group is always looking at ways to improve it further so that future generations can continue to enjoy it for many more years to come."

This year has been a record-breaking year for the Green Flag Awards, which is marking its Silver Jubilee with more than 2,100 sites across the UK meeting the tough criteria demanded by the Award.

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive, Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: "As Green Flag Award celebrates 25 years of raising the standard, Keep Britain Tidy is delighted to be the custodian of a scheme that does so much to ensure our parks and green spaces go from strength to strength."

For further information about parks in South Tyneside visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/parks

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