Liffey Linear Park in Newbridge. Photo: Pinterest
A Newbridge park and Castletown Demesne have been chosen as two parklands in the country designated for a Green Flag Award.
The list was announced today. Only awarded for exceeding tough environmental standards in green space management, and excellence of visitor attractions - the Green Flag Award for Parks is the mark of a quality park or green space and is recognised throughout the world.
Today, An Taisce Environment Education revealed the parks and green spaces that have been awarded this prestigious accolade.
A winner for the first time in 2017, it is Castletown Demesne in Kildare that provided this year’s venue to celebrate the 48 Irish parks and gardens from across the Republic of Ireland who are receiving their 2018 Green Flags. Liffey Linear Park also was awarded a Green Flag.
The 2018 season has seen an additional 12 applicant parks and gardens qualify for an award.
This year has also seen the initial introduction of the Green Flag Community Award Scheme into Ireland, allowing sites managed by volunteers and community groups to participate for the first time. The new Green Flag Community Award extends the Scheme to include community initiatives such as; Community Gardens, Community Parks, and Tidy Towns Projects.
The Minister of State for Housing and Urban Renewal – Damien English, was in attendance today to open the award ceremony.
Minister English commented that “the Green Flag Awards encourage the provision of good quality public parks and green spaces that are managed in environmentally sustainable ways. The act of planning, creating, and using a public utility, be it a community garden, park or open space, brings people, communities and neighbours together. It is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle to have access to, and to be able to enjoy, outdoor amenities particularly those which are so well tended and maintained”.
The Green Flag Awards are judged every year by a peer jury of green space experts.
In Ireland the Green Flag Award for Parks Scheme delivers major wins for the delivery of quality green spaces by respective parks and park departments. These include:
• The promotion and reward for best practice management
• Creation of a plan for improvements and future works
• The building of a collaborative network of park management nationally
• The implementation of environmental sustainability within park management
Three of the 2018 Green Flag Award winning parks were also identified by the National Biodiversity Data Centre for an additional Pollinator Project Award, which is jointly run with An Taisce Environmental Education and is kindly sponsored by Young’s Nurseries.
While there are pollinator project awards across different park categories it was Castletown Demesne itself, operated by the Office of Public Works, that was the overall winner.
This site features not only pollinator friendly planting and gardening, but also makes a great effort to educate the public and to promote these efforts through its website and social media.