A TOTAL of 265 parks and green spaces across Wales have received the prestigious Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award.
They include a diverse range of sites, from country parks and formal gardens, to allotments, woodlands and churchyards.
Now in its third decade, the international Green Flag Award is a sign to the public that a park or green space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.
Wales still holds more than a third of the UK’s Green Flag community sites, which are maintained and run by volunteers.
Among the winners in Wales are six local outdoor spaces in Ceredigion and Powys:
Our local winners
• Aberystwyth University, Penglais Campus
• Bwlch Nant yr Arian
• Ynyslas Nature Reserve
• Aberporth Village Hall Recreation Ground
• Coed y Bont
• Gerddi Bro Ddyfi Gardens
Welsh Government Minister for Climate Change, Julie James said: “Our local green spaces have a vital role to play in connecting us to nature. These awards go to prove that Wales’ parks and similar areas are doing a wonderful job in providing quality places to relax and enjoy.
“The standard required to achieve Green Flag status is very high so I want to congratulate all of the sites recognised for providing excellent, year-round facilities to local people and visitors alike.
“It’s fantastic to see we still hold more than a third of the UK’s Green Flag community sites in Wales – especially as the last two years have taught us all of the importance of nature and green spaces on our mental and physical wellbeing.”
Lucy Prisk, Green Flag co-ordinator at Keep Wales Tidy added: “The last few years have really shown us just how important high-quality parks and green spaces are to our communities. With more visitors than ever enjoying our green spaces, I’d like to congratulate the hard work of staff and volunteers who have maintained excellent standards at these sites.”
Aberystwyth University, Penglais Campus
Stephen Forster, director of finance and corporate services at Aberystwyth University, said: “We are delighted to have retained the Green Flag Award for 2022/23.
“Aberystwyth University offers one of the best student experiences in the UK and the Penglais Campus provides an excellent environment to live and learn.
“Landscaped to complement the campus’ development from the 1960s onwards, we take great pride in the way Penglais Campus is maintained in-keeping with its designation as a landscape of special interest by CADW.
“Retaining the Green Flag Award reflects the dedication of the university’s grounds team who work with colleagues across the institution to maintaining this wonderful site for everyone to enjoy.”
Bwlch Nant yr Arian and Ynyslas Nature Reserve
Natural Resources Wales is celebrating two Green Flags in the Aberystwyth area with Ynyslas Visitor Centre and Bwlch Nant yr Arian receiving the accolade.
Gavin Bown, NRW’s head of operations for mid Wales said: “We are very proud that the Ynyslas Visitor Centre has earned the Green Flag. The awards are only awarded to visitor destinations that meet the highest of standards, and we are delighted to have met them.
“Popular with locals and visitors, Ynyslas is a special place where we continue to try strike the right balance of protecting a national nature reserve with enabling access to an internationally important site.
“This award was made possible only through the hard work and dedication of our staff. They make sure visitors have a great time and want to come back.”
Lucy Prisk, Green Flag co-ordinator at Keep Wales Tidy said: “The last few years have really shown us just how important high-quality parks and green spaces are to our communities.
”With more visitors than ever enjoying our green spaces, I’d like to congratulate the hard work of staff who have maintained excellent standards at Ynyslas and Bwlch Nant yr Arian.”
Ynyslas is part of the Dyfi National Nature Reserve, situated between Aberystwyth and Machynlleth. The 2,000-hectare reserve also includes the Dyfi Estuary and Cors Fochno.
Aberporth Village Hall Recreation Ground
Aberporth’s Welfare Park has achieved the prestigious Green Flag Community Award in recognition of its dedicated volunteer involvement, high environmental standards and commitment to delivering great quality green space.
Aberporth Village Hall’s Heart of the Community project founded a community fridge and garden at Canolfan Dyffryn – both projects are run by volunteers and overseen by co-ordinator Nicola King.
The hall committee also looks after the Welfare Park, recreation ground and local green spaces.
“The village hall committee is committed to maintaining and preserving our precious green spaces,” said hall chairman Mike Harwood.
“The community garden has been a tremendous success and we plan to build on that in the future.”
Coed y Bont
Set up 10 years ago, Coed y Bont has gone from strength to strength over the intervening years.
It provides good all-ability public access in a beautiful and tranquil woodland setting. Its 25 hectares provides a variety of walks, picnic sites and places to observe the wildlife. It has become a great asset to the local village and community.
The success is in large measure due to the hard work and dedication of volunteers, as well as the help given by Natural Resources Wales and the generous support from the local community.
Local resident Stella Dart, one of the volunteers, said: “I only became involved in helping at Coed y Bont earlier this year and I thoroughly enjoy our monthly volunteering sessions, doing things like building new paths.
“Sometimes it’s quite hard work but the exercise is good and it’s great to work in the outdoors with a group of people doing something useful for the community. Bont is very lucky to have such a fantastic place right on its doorstep.”
Gerddi Bro Ddyfi Gardens
Gerddi Bro Ddyfi Gardens in Machynlleth provides therapeutic opportunities for people living in the Bro Ddyfi area, especially those at risk of social exclusion.
The garden, which is located near the public Plas park grounds, is permanently open to the community and runs drop-in gardening sessions every Tuesday and Thursday from 10.30am until 4pm.
The project was set up in 2008.
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