Nine of Northumberland’s parks have once again been recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme as some of the very best in the world.

Northumberland’s winning green spaces are Ridley Park, Blyth; Dr Pit Park, Bedlington; Astley Park, Seaton Delaval; Alexandra Park, Cramlington; Carlisle Park, Morpeth; Hexham Park; Castle Vale and Coronation Park Berwick; Plessey Woods Country Park and Bolam Lake Country Park.

They are among a record-breaking 1,970 UK parks and green spaces that will receive prestigious Green Flag honours – the mark of a quality park or green space.

This international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

Councillor Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services at Northumberland County Council said: “Yet again all the parks we entered have achieved Green Flag Awards and that’s a superb achievement.

“They highlight and recognise that residents and visitors are benefiting from green spaces of the very highest quality.

“These awards also celebrate the dedication of our staff and volunteers to maintaining and improving our parks and it’s thanks to them we’ve retained these honours.”

“We’re never complacent though and have allocated nearly £1m capital funding for an improvement programme in our country parks.

“Over the past year we’ve spent around £325,000 on a range of work at Druridge Bay, Plessey Woods and Bolam Lake Country Parks to significantly enhance their appeal as great places to visit, and with further works planned to make them more accessible and significantly improve the visitor facilities.”

“We are also nearing completion of the construction and landscaping works as part of a major £2.7m rejuvenation project at Hirst Park in Ashington, which is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery Community Fund, as well as Ashington Town Council, Ashington Leisure Partnership and the County Council, and we will be entering this for Green Flag status next year to bring our tally up to ten.”

International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd added: “It’s fantastic that we have more Green Flag Awards in the UK than ever before, joined this year by 131 International winners.

“Each flag honours the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. We congratulate each and every winner on their fantastic achievement.”

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