Four Co Clare parks have been awarded Green Flag Awards by An Taisce Environmental Education, acknowledging Ireland’s best public Parks and Gardens.
At Malahide Castle the Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities; Joe O’Brien, stated that he is delighted to participate in the announcement of the 2021 Green Flag Awards for Ireland, before going on to raise the new 2021 Green Flag for Malahide Demesne.
International accreditation for public park excellence in Ireland has increased again this year, to reach over 100 accredited public green spaces. Ireland was today awarded a total of 103 Green Flag sites, comprised of 84 formal public Green Flag Park sites, along with 19 volunteer run Green Community Sites.
The Clare sites are:
John O’Sullivan Park, Ennis
Tim Smythe Park, Ennis
Shannon Town Park, Shannon
Vandeleur Walled Gardens in Kilrush.
Minister of State with responsibility for Heritage; Malcolm Noonan, commended the Green Heritage Accreditation and offered the following statement of support:
“I am delighted that the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department supports and co-funds the Green Heritage Site Accreditation Programme. This scheme is a welcome and important complement to the existing Green Flag Award.
The Green Heritage Accreditation widens the pool of sites that can participate in the programme and highlights the multifaceted nature of our green spaces. The scheme brings together the human and natural aspect of a place. It celebrates best practice in engagement with multi-layered heritage and reminds us all of our responsibility to appreciate and preserve richness and diversity of the green spaces that surround us”.
The number Green Flag Awards for the best parks and gardens to visit in Ireland have surged again this year, with 32 local authorities and park operators now partnering with An Taisce in delivering the international scheme. New green flag parks and gardens, accredited by teams of trained volunteer judges, include for the first-time sites from Counties Carlow, Meath, and Galway, as well as from Cork City.
Only awarded for exceeding tough environmental standards in green space management, and excellence of visitor attractions – the Green Flag Award Scheme is the mark of a quality park or green space and is recognised throughout the world. This year over 2,300 public sites in 16 countries around the World have achieved Green Flag or Green Flag Community Award status.
Once again more Green Flag Awards have been secured by Irish Parks and Gardens than by any country, other than the UK where the scheme originated in 1996.
This year participating countries include: Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
The Green Flag awards are available to public town parks, country parks, gardens, cemeteries, nature parks and green spaces from across the whole country.
This year has also seen the number of Green Flag Community Award sites in Ireland continue to increase. Additional community run parks and gardens were accredited in Counties Fingal – North County Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Louth, Mayo, and Roscommon. Across Ireland 19 community groups are being acknowledged for the excellence of their volunteer run community green spaces this year.