Green accolades for parks

Front Row, from left, Coun Ian Swithenbank, cabinet member for local services, Coun Alan Hepple, county councillor for Cramlington South East, Coun Val Tyler, cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture, Coun Jean Whisson from Cramlington Town Council, Keith Thompson and Enid Brown from Alexandra Park Bowling Club;  Emma Evans, county parks development officer, and Mike Jeffrey, county green spaces and countryside manager. Back row, from left, Northumberland County Council grounds staff Karl Richardson, David Gibbons, David Dodd and Jack White.
Front Row, from left, Coun Ian Swithenbank, cabinet member for local services, Coun Alan Hepple, county councillor for Cramlington South East, Coun Val Tyler, cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture, Coun Jean Whisson from Cramlington Town Council, Keith Thompson and Enid Brown from Alexandra Park Bowling Club; Emma Evans, county parks development officer, and Mike Jeffrey, county green spaces and countryside manager. Back row, from left, Northumberland County Council grounds staff Karl Richardson, David Gibbons, David Dodd and Jack White.

Six beauty spots in south east Northumberland have received a top accolade from a national organisation.

Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy has awarded the Green Flag status to Ridley Park in Blyth, Hirst Park in Ashington, Doctor Pit Park in Bedlington, Astley Park in Seaton Delaval, Alexandra Park in Cramlington and Plessey Woods Country Park near Bedlington.

They are part of a record-breaking number of award-winning parks and green spaces across the county in 2016.

A green flag flying overhead is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.

Coun Ian Swithenbank, cabinet member for local services at Northumberland County Council, said: “We are absolutely delighted that so many of our parks have achieved Green Flag awards from Keep Britain Tidy.

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

“We are extremely grateful for the support and commitment of local people, parks users, friends groups and volunteers who help to keep parks vibrant and extremely well-used. Everyone involved can be very proud.”

The award, now celebrating its 20th year, recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country.

All of the applications are judged against a set of eight key criteria, including community involvement, management, marketing, sustainability and conservation and heritage.

For more information, visit www.greenflagaward.org