With 14 of the much-coveted accolades already achieved since the programme started in Northern Ireland in 2008, the Borough brought that total to 15 this week as Randalstown Riverside Walk became the latest location in the area to receive a prestigious Green Flag.
The captivating attraction was one of 76 locations across Northern Ireland named at the ceremony which also celebrated other local landmarks Antrim Castle Gardens and Sentry Hill Historic House in Newtownabbey which both received the Green Heritage Award.
Organised and run by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, the Green Flag Award is an internationally recognised certification for environmental quality management for parks and open spaces and is continuing to go from strength to strength in Northern Ireland.
Other local winners in the Green Flag category include: Antrim/Belmont Cemetery, Ballynure Old Graveyard, Jordanstown Loughshore Park, Hazelbank Park, Gideons Green, Kilbride Cemetery, Lilian Bland Park, Mallusk Cemetery, Mill Race Trail, Newtownabbey Way, Rashee Cemetery, Sixmile Water Park, Valley Park and Wallace Park.
Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful also distributes The Green Flag Community Award, where the sites are managed and maintained by loyal volunteers working at a local level. This year Sentry Hill Community Garden received their first Green Flag Community Award alongside Ballyeaston Church Ruin, Rathfern Activity Centre, and Toome’s Linear Park.
Commenting on the Borough’s Green Flag achievements, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Alderman John Smyth, said:
“The addition of a further Green Flag to the Antrim and Newtownabbey area is testament to the hard work and vision of all those involved in striving to make the Borough a welcoming environment for everyone living, visiting and working here.
“This combined effort means our parks and open spaces continue to go from strength to strength and it is very encouraging to see that being acknowledged at the Green Flag awards.
“On behalf of the Borough I would like to extend our thanks, congratulations and appreciation to everyone who has helped make this wonderful achievement a most welcome reality.”
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.
For the 2019/20 season, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful saw a continued increase in public parks, gardens, country parks, cemeteries and green spaces meeting the demanding standards.
There are now more places than ever for the public to enjoy free high quality outdoor spaces in Northern Ireland.
If you are interested in finding out further information about the Green Flag Award or other programmes run by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful please visit: www.keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org