East Antrim is celebrating Green Flag success at the annual awards ceremony held in Queen’s University, Belfast.
Carnfunnock Country Park and Dixon Park, in Larne; Carrickfergus Mill Ponds, Shaftesbury Park and Marine Gardens, Eden Allotment Gardens, Bashfordsland Wood and Oakfield Glen in Carrick and Diamond Jubilee Wood, Whitehead, were among the winners.
In Newtownabbey, Sentry Hill Historic House received a Green Heritage Award.
Winners in the Green Flag category in Antrim and Newtownabbey borough include: Ballynure Old Graveyard, Jordanstown Loughshore Park, Hazelbank Park, Gideons Green, Kilbride Cemetery, Lilian Bland Park, Mallusk Cemetery, Mill Race Trail, Newtownabbey Way, Rashee Cemetery, Sixmile Water Park, Valley Park and Wallace Park.
The Green Flag Award is an internationally recognised certification for environmental quality management for parks and open spaces which must demonstrate horticultural standards, cleanliness, environmental management, biodiversity, community involvement and safety standards.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Cllr. Maureen Morrow, said: “We are so proud to be flying the Green Flag across so many of our borough’s parks and open spaces.
“This is a true reflection of the fantastic work of our parks team in ensuring our green spaces are among the best in Northern Ireland.
“I would like to thank Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful Green Flag Awards Scheme and, of course, our hardworking staff, who maintain and manage our parks and open spaces to such a high standard all year round.”
Antrim and Newtownabbey mayor Alderman John Smyth, commented: “The addition of a further Green Flag to the Antrim and Newtownabbey area is testament to the hard work and vision of all those involved in striving to make the borough a welcoming environment for everyone living, visiting and working here.”
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.
Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful also celebrates The Green Flag Community Award where the sites are managed and maintained by loyal volunteers working at a local level.
Dr Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, stated: “It is time once again to celebrate a record number of Green Flag Awards meaning more spaces than ever before offering wonderful experiences for visitors throughout the year. I also want to thank the staff who give their all to maintain these spaces to such high standards for us to enjoy.”