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Wirral's parks are the best in the North West

24th July 2015

Categories: News

Birkenhead Park
Birkenhead Park

Wirral now boasts more Green Flag parks and open spaces than any other local authority in the North West.

The Green Flag award winners are unveiled today and out of the 1,582 UK parks, cemeteries, universities, shopping centres and community gardens in the UK that were adjudged to have met the exacting standards required, 22 of them are in Wirral.

In addition to the 20 council-run parks and open spaces that have received Green Flag Awards this year, two others – Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm and New Ferry Butterfly Park – have achieved Green Flag Community Awards.

It means for the fourth year in succession, Wirral has increased the number of Green Flag sites in the borough which demonstrates the council’s commitment to developing well-maintained, well-managed parks with excellent facilities, working in partnership with passionate and active volunteer Friends groups.

It also means that Wirral now has more Green Flags that any other individual local authority area in the whole of the North West region.

Cllr Chris Meaden, Cabinet member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, said: “We are so proud once again of these achievements. Our parks and green spaces are so important for the identity of the borough and lie right at the heart of our communities. They play a part in promoting health and wellbeing as well as helping to build strong communities and reduce social isolation, which are all priorities for the council and included as part of our ‘20/20’ pledges to the people of Wirral.

“Having successful, popular parks requires a huge team effort. This is not just from our employees in Wirral Council’s Parks and Countryside Service – who continue to deliver amazing results despite an ever-diminishing budget - but also from our committed band of volunteers and our Friends Groups. Everyone has a key role to play in setting and maintaining the high standards required to earn a Green Flag. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has done their bit this year.”

The places in Wirral that will be able to fly the Green Flag for the first time in 2015 are Queens Park in Hoylake, Mayer Park, Bebington and Rake Lane Cemetery in Wallasey.

Mike Foster, Chair of the Friends of Hoylake and Meols in Bloom group, whose hard work and tenacity was a crucial factor in Queens Park’s achievement, added: “This is amazing news for everyone who has been involved in transforming Queens Park over the last few years; local people and businesses that have given their time and services free of charge to make it a local park to be proud of. Receiving the Green Flag for the first time feels like a just reward for this hard work and we can’t wait to see it flying over the park.”

The award for Mayer Park this year is also excellent news and well-deserved as it has been the focus of specific support from the Wirral South Constituency Committee who made developing Mayer Park as a priority for 2014/15.

In actual fact, Wirral has received 24 awards this year as, in addition to the Green Flag Park Award, Birkenhead Park once again retained its Green Heritage Site accreditation. This is an award sponsored by Historic England and given in recognition of high standards of work in the management and interpretation of a site with local or national historic importance.

New Ferry Butterfly Park also doubled up this year scooping a ‘Bees Needs’ Special Award for Innovation from the Green Flag Award panel in recognition of its commitment to encouraging and increasing pollinator-friendly habitats and food sources there throughout the year.

Wirral’s Green Flag Award winners 2015 are as follows:-

• Ashton Park, Wirral West

• Bidston Hill, Birkenhead

• Birkenhead Park, Birkenhead

• Brotherton Park and Dibbinsdale Local Nature Reserve, Wirral South

• Central Park, Wallasey

• Coronation Gardens, Wirral West

• Eastham Country Park, Wirral South

• Hilbre Islands Local Nature Reserve, Wirral West

• Mayer Park, Wirral South

• Meols Park, Wirral West

• North Wirral Coastal Park, Wallasey

• Queens Park, Wirral West

• Rake Lane Cemetery, Wallasey

• Royden Park, Wirral West

• The Arno, Birkenhead

• Thornton Hough Village Green, Wirral South

• Vale Park, Wallasey

• Victoria Gardens, Wirral West

• Victoria Park, Birkenhead

• Wirral Country Park, Wirral West

Green Flag Community Award winners:-

• New Ferry Butterfly Park (managed by Cheshire Wildlife Trust)

• Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm (managed by Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm Trust)

Green Heritage Accreditation 2015

• Birkenhead Park

The Green Flag Award Scheme is managed in the UK by a consortium, comprising Keep Britain Tidy, The Conservation Volunteers and GreenSpace. Known collectively as the Green Flag Plus Partnership, the consortium manages the scheme in England on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government and in Wales for the Welsh Steering Group.

Green Flag Award recognises well-managed, high-quality green spaces. Any green space in the UK is eligible to win this award providing it is freely accessible to the public. The Green Flag Awards are judged by an army of more than 700 green space experts, who volunteer their time to visit applicant sites and assess them against eight strict criteria:-

Health, safety and security
Maintenance of equipment, buildings and landscape
Litter, cleanliness and vandalism
Environmental sustainability
Conservation of heritage and nature
Community involvement
Marketing strategy
Overall management

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