City parks flying the green flag for excellence
Six of Swansea's main parks have once again been awarded green flag status, recognising the vital role they play in boosting residents' wellbeing and improving the natural environment.
The Green Flag Award programme is delivered in Wales by environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy, with support from Welsh Government. Sites are judged against eight strict criteria, including biodiversity, cleanliness, environmental management and community involvement.
In Swansea, the Council's Clyne Gardens, Singleton Botanical Gardens, Brynmill Park, Parc Llewelyn, Cwmdonkin Park and Victoria Park have all gained the prestigious flag status.
Two more green flags have been awarded to Penllergare Trust for their efforts at Penllergare Valley Woods and Swansea University has received recognition for Singleton Campus.
Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment Enhancement and Infrastructure Management, said: "Once again, our parks and cleansing teams have had their commitment to keeping our much loved parks in wonderful condition rewarded. It's also important to recognise our council staff have achieved this during the pandemic making this achievement even more special.
"Retaining green flag status is important to the council in terms of making a wider statement on our commitment to ensure the public and visitors to the city have excellent green spaces they can visit and enjoy what we have to offer.
"I'm also pleased to see a large number of community gardens also get recognition for what they offer residents. This is largely down to community groups and volunteers who take it upon themselves to look after these green spaces and make sure that wherever you live in Swansea, there is certain to be somewhere nearby that families can visit."
A total of 13 'community awards' have also been given to smaller community based gardens and green spaces, including two new winners - Clydach Community Garden and Blaenymaes Community Garden.
Julie James, the Welsh Government's Minister for Climate Change, said: "Green spaces are vital for mental and physical well-being and throughout the pandemic we have seen how important these spaces have been for local communities.
"Wales still holds more than a third of the UK's Green Flag community sites and it is fantastic to see more places in Wales receiving Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award.
"These landscapes play a vital role in delivering rich ecosystems and vibrant and resilient communities, and I congratulate all of the sites for providing excellent, year-round facilities and events for people in Wales."
Lucy Prisk, Green Flag Coordinator at Keep Wales Tidy said: "The pandemic showed us just how important high-quality parks and green spaces are to our communities. With more visitors than ever enjoying our green spaces, I'd like to congratulate the hard work of staff and volunteers who have maintained excellent standards at these sites."
Lead Image: The lake at Brynmill Park