Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, the environmental charity that runs the coveted awards locally, revealed that 18 Council sites and six community spaces scooped the prestigious accolade, making Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council the most awarded local authority outside of Belfast this year.
Among the highlights was Clotworthy Courtyard Garden, managed by Friends of Antrim Castle Gardens, which picked up the inaugural Community Pollinator Award. This category is for parks which had achieved Green Flag status but were also implementing habitat creation and restoration measures for pollinating insects which will, in turn, benefit all wildlife.
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Alderman Stephen Ross said:
"I am delighted that so many of our wonderful parks and green spaces have received this highly sought after certification.
“These sites play a pivotal role in helping to support local communities by providing recreational space, and zone safe zones to escape and unwind, so they are vital for our health and wellbeing.
“When you visit a Green Flag site you can be reassured that the location is being managed to a really high standard as they’ve been through a rigorous judging process that assesses sites across a range of issues including their horticultural standards, cleanliness, biodiversity and safety.”
The full list of sites in the Borough to receive a Green Flag Award is as follows:
1. Antrim Castle Gardens (Heritage)
2. Antrim/Belmont & Six Mile Cemetery
3. Antrim Loughshore and Gateway
4. Ballynure Old Graveyard
5. Jordanstown Loughshore Park, Hazelbank Park and Gideons Green
6. Kilbride Cemetery
7. Lilian Bland Park
8. Mallusk Cemetery
9. Mill Race Trail
10. Newtownabbey Way
11. Randalstown Riverside Walk
12. Rashee Cemetery
13. Sentry Hill Historic House & Visitor Centre (Heritage)
14. Sixmile Water Park
15. Valley Park (V36 and Glas-na-braden Glen)
16. Wallace Park
17. Crumlin Glen
18. Threemile Water Park
1. Ballyeaston Church Ruin
2. Rathfern Activity Centre
3. Sentry Hill Community Garden
4. Toome Linear Park
5. Clotworthy Courtyard
6. Monkstown Village Community Garden