Ballymena beauty spots go ‘Green’ again

Pictured at the awards are Alison Diver (MEA), Dr Ian Humphreys (KNIB), Mayor Maureen Morrow
Pictured at the awards are Alison Diver (MEA), Dr Ian Humphreys (KNIB), Mayor Maureen Morrow

Ecos Nature Park and the People’s Park in Ballymena are among eight areas within Mid and East Antrim which have retained their Green Flag status at the annual awards.

The Green Flag Award is an internationally recognised certification for environmental quality management for parks and open spaces and is growing from strength to strength in Northern Ireland, increasing from three sites since programme inception in 2008.

Parks and open spaces wishing to achieve Green Flag status must have a site management plan in place and be able to demonstrate they comply with a range of strict criteria including horticultural standards, cleanliness, environmental management, biodiversity, community involvement and safety standards.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Maureen Morrow, said: “We are so proud to be flying the Green Flag across so many of our borough’s parks and open spaces.

“This is a true reflection of the fantastic work of our parks team in ensuring our green spaces are among the best in Northern Ireland.

“I would like to thank Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful Green Flag Awards Scheme and, of course, our hardworking staff, who maintain and manage our parks and open spaces to such a high standard all year round.”

The Green Flag Awards are judged annually by a panel of experts, who volunteer their time to assess the management plans and the applicant sites through a rigorous judging process. Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful also celebrates The Green Flag Community Award, where the sites are managed and maintained by loyal local volunteers.