• Love Ballymena

MEA Council flies the flag at awards

Mayor Peter Johnston and Councillor Marc Collins pictured with the MEABC Parks Team & Volunteers - Paul Mawhinney, Jackie Waide, Paul Crozier, parks volunteers Phil Allen, Irene Hunter and Joan Thompson

Mid and East Antrim’s parks and open spaces have been celebrated at this year prestigious Green Flag Awards.

Now in its twelfth year, the initiative recognises and rewards beautiful outdoor areas and the people responsible for maintaining them throughout the year.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council picked up four of the much-coveted accolades with Carnfunnock County Park, Greenland Cemetery, Ecos Nature Park and Eden Allotment Gardens all being awarded Green Flag status.

The winning ways didn’t stop there for the borough, with Cullybackey Community Partnership also picking up a Green Flag Community Award for their management of Shellinghill park and Millennium Path in the village.

Organised and run by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, the Green Flag Award is an internationally recognised certification for environmental quality management for parks and open spaces and is continuing to go from strength to strength in Northern Ireland.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston, congratulated everyone who played a part in achieving Green Flag status.

“We are blessed with an amazing choice of open spaces and beautiful outdoor areas across our borough,” he said.

“This year they have been especially important in giving residents and visitors some much-needed space to unwind and relax. Of course, without the efforts of so many, these areas just wouldn’t be the same and our thanks are extended to everyone who ensures they remain in award-winning condition through every season.

“From the local volunteers to the Council teams, everyone has an essential role to play and it is this commitment and hard work that has been rewarded with these fabulous Green Flag Awards.

“My thanks and appreciation are extended to you all, and I hope everyone enjoys and appreciates these amazing locations.”

The Green Flag Awards are judged annually by a panel of experts, who volunteer their time to assess the management plans and the applicant sites through a rigorous judging process.

Dr Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful said:

“Northern Ireland’s parks and open spaces play a hugely important role in supporting our local communities, both in terms of providing recreational space but also for supporting health and wellbeing. This has been highlighted now more than ever as our parks and open spaces provided a haven to many during the difficult lockdown period. It is fantastic to see such a high number of sites in Northern Ireland meeting the international standard for excellence.”

For the 2020/21 season, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful saw a continued increase in public parks, gardens, country parks, cemeteries and green spaces meeting the demanding standards.

If you are interested in finding out further information about the Green Flag Award or other programmes run by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful please visit:

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