Record-Breaking Number of Green Flags Awards for NI

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful has recognised 98 Green Flag Award winning sites for 2023/2024.

Image via Keep NI Beautiful

Rising from a previous high of 93 flags last year, the environmental charity awarded the international mark of quality to parks and open spaces that demonstrated world-class standards in cleanliness, safety, accessibility, environmental management and community involvement.

Eight local councils received their Green Flags at a presentation event at Killeavy Castle in Newry on Monday 24 July, with 20 awards apiece for Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and Belfast City Council, and six winning sites for Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.

There were also solo wins for Queen’s University Belfast and the Department of Finance-managed Stormont, who retained their flag-bearing status for another year.

In a further sign of progress, the Green Flag Community Award category surged to an all-time best of 22 sites. Radius Housing took home four awards for folds across the country, while first-time wins went to Downpatrick Community Allotment, Lislea Community Association, and Tidy Randalstown.

Dr Stephen McGirr, Keep NI Beautiful’s Local Environmental Quality Manager said:

“We are thrilled to have another record-breaking year of Green Flag Award winners for our best parks and open spaces. The 98 winning locations not only represent excellent-standard green spaces that are good news for wider society, but they highlight an ever-growing concern and connection with our natural world that is a victory for our planet.”

“In difficult economic times, we take great encouragement from the fact that high-quality environmental management remains high on the agenda for local authorities and communities, and that is exactly how it should be.”

Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Valerie Harte said:

“We were honored to host the prestigious Green Flag Awards within the Newry Mourne and Down District this year. The provision of high quality green spaces forms a key part of Council’s mission to promote and support active and healthy communities.”

“On top of retaining our existing five Green Flag awards, we are delighted that Castlewellan Forest Park has become an inaugural winner. As with all of the 98 award winners, this is testament to the vision and continuous hard work of the staff working within these facilities and I would like to personally thank them for their efforts.”

The record-breaking trend in Green Flags was observed across the UK, with 2,216 green spaces receiving awards in a peak year for the award scheme that was launched in 1996.

The international nature of the environmental accreditation has grown in recent years, with 18 countries across the world now flying the Green Flag, including France, Germany, New Zealand, Mexico, South Korea and, most recently, Austria.

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful is the national operator for the Green Flag Award, which is managed by Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

To view the full list of Green Flag Award winners for Northern Ireland, visit www.keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org/greenflagaward

Notes for editors

For further information about the Green Flag Award, please contact Chris Walsh, Communications Coordinator, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful at:

christopher.walsh@keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org / 07469 671432

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