Six Irish parks receive Green Flag Awards
2015 has seen a record number of Green Flag Awards presented to exceptional green spaces as part of the international scheme. In total six parks in the Republic of Ireland and 42 in Northern Ireland were given Green Flag Awards.
27 July 2015
In total the Green Flag Award Scheme presented over 1,582 flags to parks, cemeteries, universities, shopping centres and community gardens that have met the high standard needed to receive a Green Flag Award or the Green Flag Community Award in 2015.
The Office of Public Works (OPW) commenced a Green Flag Award pilot project alongside Dublin City Council and Fingal Council, administered by An Taisce in association with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, in early 2014 with each body submitting two sites into the scheme. The Green Flag Award scheme recognises and encourages the hard work and dedication that goes into providing quality parks and green spaces that are managed in environmentally sustainable ways.
The Green Flag Award Scheme is already working to support and highlight the best practice management of parks and green spaces across England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. The scheme was also introduced this year in the United Arab Emirate of Abu Dhabi where three parks were awarded flags.
This year Green Flag Awards were given to Poppintree Park (Dublin City Council), Bushy Park (Dublin City Council),Malahide Demesne (Fingal County Council), Millennium Park (Fingal County Council),Grangegorman Military Cemetery (Office of Public Works) and St. Stephen’s Green (Office of Public Works).
Commenting on the awards Margaret Gormley, chief park superintendent, noted “The Green Flag is very important because it sets a standard for all green spaces, and, for everyone involved in maintenance and management, to work towards. It sends a good message to the public as well as the team that we are achieving a high standard”.
Following submission of a management plan and action plan for each entry the sites are then visited by up to three judges. In 2015 there were over 700 judges who assessed the spaces on eight criteria including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement.
International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme. All the flags flying this year are a testament to the efforts of the thousands of men and women, both staff and volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”
Grangegorman Military Cemetery is a 5.5ac space adjacent to the Phoenix Park which opened in 1876 to serve as a graveyard for the soldiers and their families, of what was then Marlborough Barracks (now McKee Barracks). The space offers a near picture perfect Victorian garden cemetery and a mature tree collection of over twenty-six species. St Stephens Green Park is Ireland’s premier Victorian Square. The site is just under 10 Ha and has become a key tourist attraction in Dublin attracting millions of visitors each year.