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Eco-friendly Brooke Park awarded prestigious ‘Green Flag’

30 July 2018

The regeneration of Brooke Park by Derry City and Strabane District Council has been awarded the prestigious ‘Green Flag’ status for a second year running by environmental charity ‘Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful’ at a recent ceremony in the Hill of the O’Neill, Dungannon.

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.

Brooke Park was reopened to the public in September 2016 following an extensive £5.6m regeneration of this historic landscape.

The project was funded by Council, Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) through its Parks for People Programme and the Department for Communities (DfC) and has been a resounding success with the public to date.

Speaking at the unveiling of the Green Flag in Brooke Park today, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle said the award represents recognition of the ongoing high-quality management of the new civic amenity.

“I would like to congratulate the Council’s Parks Management & Development Team for all their hard work in ensuring that the ‘People’s Park’ continues to meet the high standards required for Green Flag status,” he said.

“The transformation of the park into a state-of-the-art-facility for leisure, play and relaxation has not only restored the park to its former glory, but has enriched the lives of local people by providing a hub for social and leisure activity.

“I would also like to pay tribute to the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Department for Communities without whose financial support this project and the winning of this highly-coveted award would simply not have been possible.”

Dr Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful who award the Green Flags said: "We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme.

"We are proud to have so many wonderful green spaces in Northern Ireland for people to experience, and encourage the public to head outdoors.

"The Green Flag Award is a sign of a well-managed, clean and safe park and with many people increasingly relying on their local park as a place to exercise, relax and have fun, quality green space has never been more important.

"Research shows that people will only visit a park if they perceive it to be clean and safe; and the Green Flag Award is an easy way for the public to see at a glance that their park meets the highest standards.

"All the flags flying this year are a testament to the efforts of the hundreds of men and women, both staff and volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award."

Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Parks Development Manager Colin Kennedy added: “I am delighted that Brooke Park has once again received Green Flag status.

“Winning the Green Flag Award will generate excellent publicity for the park and increase awareness of this high-quality green space in the heart of our city centre – which can only be a boost to its popularity.

“Indeed, securing a Green Flag will also assist us in promoting Brooke Park’s natural environment and support a range of activities with local schools, community groups and the public to develop a better understanding and appreciation of the history of the park, its importance in terms of wildlife and environment, and the positive role they can play in safeguarding its future for generations to come.”