Volunteers and fans of the region’s parks are celebrating after a record number were awarded the coveted Green Flag status.
A total of 49 green spaces in the North East have been recognised by the Keep Britain Tidy campaign for being welcoming, healthy, safe and secure, clean and well maintained, sustainable, involving the community, being well managed, promoting themselves well, or being of conservation and heritage value.
And there is a raft of new entries joining more established names on the 2013 list. Coun Eddie Darke, cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism in North Tyneside said he was delighted to see Killingworth Lakeside become the fourth park run by the council to receive the award, alongside the Rising Sun Country Park, Benton Quarry Park and Marden Quarry Park.
“The Green Flag is a national hallmark in quality so I’m extremely proud that we have achieved that status for four of our beautiful parks and open spaces,” he said.
“The awards reflect the high standards of maintenance and hard work by the council team and the involvement of local communities and the Friends’ groups who help keep our parks looking so good.”
The 2013 list of Green Flag awards, published today , shows that this year a record-breaking 1,447 parks and green spaces have been recognised.
Newcastle has five entries, Northumberland eight, Gateshead two and South Tyneside just one. Coun Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council, said that did not diminish the sense of achievement over the presence of South Marine Park at South Shields seafront.
“We are thrilled to have received the Green Flag award for the fifth year running,” he said. “It is a testament to all the fantastic work that has gone into keeping South Marine Park at its best for residents and visitors to enjoy throughout the year.
“The park is a wonderful place for the whole family to visit and relax in. It is one of the jewels of South Tyneside.”
County Durham sees 22 of its parks make the list, while six of Sunderland City Council’s parks - Mowbray Park, Roker Park, Barnes Park, Herrington Country Park, Usworth Park in Washington and Hetton Lyons Country Park - have also received Green Flag Awards for 2013.