Seven Leeds parks have been granted Green Flag Awards, maintaining the city’s reputation as one of the greenest in the UK.
The prestigious awards scheme marks the quality of green spaces and are judged by an army of more than 700 volunteer experts who assess areas in their horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement.
Golden Acre Park, Kirkstall Abbey, Otley Chevin Country Park, Pudsey Park, Roundhay Park and the Temple Newsam Estate retained their Green Flag Awards while Middleton Park has joined them as award winners for 2014.
The south Leeds green space has been given a £2.2m makeover which has seen a new visitor centre and bandstand built among other improvements.
Coun Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities, said: “The Green Flag Award is a real endorsement of the hard work and dedication of our parks team, whose efforts ensure that we can all visit and enjoy these beautiful places.
“Leeds boasts some stunning parks and green spaces that we can be genuinely proud of and it’s great to see that recognised by this prestigious award.”
The award scheme began in 1996 and is the national standard for parks and green spaces. Awards are given every year and winners must apply each year to renew their Green Flag status.
In 2014 over 1,400 parks, cemeteries, universities, shopping centres and community gardens have met the standard in the UK.
Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “This is something well worth celebrating and testament to the efforts of the thousands of men and women, supported by some amazing volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.
“The parks sector is facing some tough challenges so it is heartening to see that they are committed to maintaining and improving standards.
“We know how passionate people are about our parks and green spaces and the recent Heritage Lottery Fund report, State of UK Public Parks, highlighted the need for everyone to work together to ensure they are maintained for future generations.”
Visit www.keepbritaintidy.org for further details.