21 July 2016
1,686 parks and green spaces across the UK
More parks and green spaces than ever will be flying the Green Flag Award this year - more than 1,600 across the UK.
The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by Keep Britain Tidy, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. From a hospital in Bournemouth, to a crematorium in Chesterfield, to a shopping centre in Liverpool, all will be proudly flying the Green Flag Award, for the best parks and green spaces in the country.
In total, 1,686 parks, cemeteries, universities, shopping centres and community gardens have met the high standard needed to receive the Green Flag Award or Green Flag Community Award, the quality marks for parks and green spaces.
And this year, for the first time ever, an NHS hospital - The Royal Bournemouth NHS Foundation Trust - has achieved the Green Flag Award standard, joining recipients Blue Water Shopping Centre in Kent and Peak Forest Canal in Whaley Bridge.
The Green Flag Awards are judged by an army of more than 700 green space experts, who volunteer their time to visit applicant sites and assess them against eight strict criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement.
Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: "We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme, especially as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Awards.
"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."
Communities Minister, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth said:
"Parks and green spaces are vitally important to the health and the emotional wellbeing of our communities.
"That's why we're celebrating 20 years of the Green Flag Awards, which continue to go from strength to strength in recognising the significant role that parks play.
"More than 80 government funded pocket parks are starting to spring up across the country and I hope they apply to fly the Green Flag once they're in full bloom."
The announcement of the 2016 Award winners comes in the same week that thousands of people up and down the country are celebrating Love Parks Week (July 15 to 24), an annual celebration of our country's fantastic green spaces and the community groups that bring them to life.
Celebrating Amazing Spaces - 2016 winners brochure