Brooke Park retains prestigious Green Flag status
12 October 2021
Brooke Park has again been recognised as one of Northern Ireland’s best run parks after being named in Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful’s Green Flag Award list for 2021.
The People’s Park receives the title for a fifth successive year following its extensive £5.6m regeneration in 2016.
The Green Flag is a worldwide award to recognise publicly accessible parks and green spaces that meet strict, benchmarked criteria including maintenance, sustainability, safety and community involvement.
A total of 84 parks and open spaces have been recognised with a Green Flag Award for 2021, including four new Green Flag Awards, one new Community Award and one new Green Flag Heritage Award.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, congratulated the staff at the park for the retention of the status.
“Brooke Park is a real gem in the heart of the City and it has been maintained resplendently over the last five years for everyone to enjoy,” he said.
“During the lockdown restrictions it was a place where people could visit to relax and enjoy the outdoors and children enjoyed the state of the art play facilities in a safe environment.
“Congratulations to Council’s Parks Team for all their hard work in ensuring the park met the criteria for the green flag which I’m sure will highlight the park’s offering to new visitors this year.”
Rachel Vaughan, who manages the Green Flag Awards programme, said she hoped people would use the awards as an incentive to visit some new places in one of the most beautiful seasons of the year.
“We all love a walk through the autumn leaves and it’s uplifting to discover a new spot to enjoy,” she said. “When you visit a Green Flag park or open space you can be reassured that the location is being managed to a really high standard as they’ve been through a rigorous judging process that assesses sites across a range of issues including their horticultural standards, cleanliness, biodiversity and safety.
“At a time when many people’s finances are under pressure, it’s important to highlight the fact that all Green Flag spaces are free to everyone.”
Parks and open spaces play a hugely important role in supporting the health and wellbeing of local communities and come in many shapes and sizes.
The expert judges, who are all volunteers themselves, were delighted to include several community spaces in this year’s selection, which are also run and managed by volunteers at a local level.
These include: Shellinghill Park and Millennium Path, Sentry Hill Community Garden, Footprints Women’s Centre, Rathfern Activity Centre, Toome Linear Walk and Ballyeaston Church Ruin.
Special Green Flag Heritage Awards were presented to Stormont Estate, Brooke Park, Sentry Hill Historic House and Visitor Centre, Antrim Castle Gardens and Clotworthy House, Queen’s University Belfast, Warrenpoint Municipal Park, Newry Canal and Belfast Botanic Gardens.
These sites are making the most of unique heritage features, which enhance the experience of visitors to their sites.