HUNDREDS of parks and green spaces in Wales - including a number in Gwent - have been named among the best in the UK.

Now in its third decade, the Green Flag Award is a sign to the public that a park or green space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

They include a diverse range of sites, from country parks and formal gardens, to allotments, woodlands, and churchyards.

In Newport, Beechwood Park, Belle Vue Park and Gwent Crematorium have won the Green Flag Award.

South Wales Argus:

Belle Vue Park, Newport, by David Easton

In Torfaen, Cwmbran Boating Lake, Garn Lakes, Panteg Park and Pontypool Park have been given the award, while, in Caerphilly, Cwmcarn Forest has been acclaimed and Cefn Fforest Eco Park.

In Blaenau Gwent, Bryn Bach Park and Bedwellty House and Park have been given the award.

South Wales Argus:

Rhys Gallent's dog taking a moment's rest while walking at Garn Lakes

The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal is a first-time winner for this award, and Caldicot Castle, Old Station Tintern and Castle meadows have won again.


South Wales Argus:

The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal between Mamilhad and Goytre snapped by Neil Daniels

Wales still holds more than a third of the UK’s Green Flag community sites, which are maintained and run by volunteers.

The Green Flag Award programme is delivered in Wales by environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy, with support from Welsh Government. Independent green space experts volunteered their time in early autumn to judge applicant sites against eight strict criteria, including biodiversity, cleanliness, environmental management, and community involvement.

Lucy Prisk, Green Flag Coordinator at Keep Wales Tidy said: “The pandemic has shown just how important high-quality parks and green spaces are to our communities.

“For many of us, they have been a haven on our doorstep, benefitting our health and well-being.

“The 224 flags flying this year are a testament to the hard work of staff and volunteers who have maintained excellent standards under the most challenging circumstances.

“I’d like to congratulate and thank them all for their outstanding commitment."