20 September 2023
A record number of parks and green spaces in Europe have won the international Green Flag Award in 2023
Parks and green spaces in Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Turkey were accredited with the coveted Award - including many first-time winners.
This follows the news in July that the UK had celebrated 2,216 winners.
Kurpark Warmbad-Villach became the first park in Austria to win the Award, whilst in Finland parks saw a more than 50% increase in winners including Hupisaarten kaupunginpuisto in the far northern city of Oulu.
Image 2: Kurpark Warmbad celebrates the first Green Flag Award in Austria.
Robert Walton – Head of the gardening team at Kurpark Warmbad-Villach said:
"Winning the Green Flag Award means so much to me and the staff that help to maintain the park. It demonstrates that we have an inviting environment, which creates a positive benefit for our visitors, employees and the local community.”
Image 3: José Antonio Díez, the Mayor of León raises the Green Flag Award flag with Luis Miguel García, the Councillor for the Environment in Parque la Granja, Leon, Spain.
Europe's Liveable Cities
Câmara Municipal do Porto in Portugal (cover picture), leads the way in Southern Europe with a new winner - Jardins do Palácio de Cristal (Crystal Palace Gardens), the 3rd Award winning garden under their management for the City of Porto. And many other European cities continue to use the Award to celebrate multiple parks or green spaces of importance in their communities.
Image 4: Jardin des Plantes in Nantes, France takes a playful approach with art installations by Jean Jullien.
Nantes, the first French city to win a Green Flag Award has now held the accolade for three years and three different sites across the city, including the world famous Jardin des Plantes. Antwerp has an impressive seven winners in the city region. Kotka in Finland holds five Awards, and Dublin boasts more than 30 in the surrounding area.
Green Heritage Sites now in Europe
Image 5: The Irish National War Memorial Gardens in Ireland have held Green Heritage Award since 2021
Green Heritage Site Accreditation is awarded to Green Flag Award winning sites that actively understand, identify, manage and promote the elements of their heritage that make that site unique. This year in Europe 13 sites were awarded with this accolade – one in Portugal and 12 in Ireland.
Ireland's passion for people power is evident in 17 community managed sites winning Green Flag Community Award. On top of this, 84 parks and green spaces in Ireland won a Green Flag Award, recognising the hard work of local authorities and parks management organisations.
Image 6: Committee members and volunteers from Community Award winning Julianstown Community Garden.
Emlyn Cullen – Programme Manager for An Taisce Environmental Education Unit, who run the Award in Ireland said:
"The continued success of the Green Flag Award is due to the love that staff members have for their parks, and the hard work they put in to maintaining them. They do a phenomenal job every day making their parks beautiful, safe spaces for the public to enjoy."
The Green Flag Award is the international quality benchmark for the public green space sector - now operating in 17 countries around the world. Running for over 25 years, the programme uses eight key criteria headings to for assessments. Both the management framework for each site, as well as an annual condition inspection is conducted through a network of qualified judges. So far in the past twelve months over 2,400 sites have received annual accreditation.
In July, the UK - where the programme originated, announced a record breaking 2,216 winners this year. More winners in Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, USA and the United Arab Emirates will be announced later in 2023.
Image 7: Jonsereds Trädgårdar (Jonsered's Garden) in Partille, Sweden receive a surprise delivery from the judges.
Carl McClean, International Development Manager for the Green Flag Award said:
“Well done to every single person involved in managing, maintaining, supporting, or volunteering at one of these Green Flag Award winning places. This Award recognises your hard work and commitment all throughout the year.”
“It’s fantastic to see so many European parks achieve well-deserved international recognition with a Green Flag Award. Parks continue to benefit both people and planet in so many different ways, and the sector deserves recognition for making that possible.”
For an interactive global map of current winners, visit: https://www.greenflagaward.org/award-winners/
The Green Flag Award® is a non-profit international accreditation programme that recognises and rewards well managed parks and green spaces. Today the Green Flag Award proudly flies above more than 2,400 places in 17 countries around the world.
The programme is managed internationally by environmental Charity Keep Britain Tidy, alongside a network of National Operators in several countries. See the website Network page for more information.
To find out more in general, or apply for an Award, whichever country you are based in; explore the Green Flag Award website: https://www.greenflagaward.org, or alternatively click here for a contact form.