Parks are pride of the region as they collect national awards

Representatives from Durham County Councils clean and green and bereavement services teams at Chester-le-Street'S Riverside Park.

Representatives from Durham County Councils clean and green and bereavement services teams at Chester-le-Street'S Riverside Park.

The flags are out in celebration of parks which have been awarded a prized status.

Ten parks and open spaces in County Durham have been awarded a Green Flag.

Four parks and six cemeteries or crematoriums owned and managed by Durham County Council have been given the national accolade, which is awarded by environmental charity

Keep Britain Tidy.

They include the Riverside Park and Ropery Lane Cemetery in Chester-le-Street, South Road Cemetery and Crematorium in Durham and Hardwick Park in Sedgefield.

Ranging from parks and countryside sites to cemeteries and crematoria, the awards reflect the high levels of maintenance needed to keep the sites looking good and the excellent

standards in management and good practice.

Judges look at criteria such as maintenance, conservation and community involvement as well as open spaces being welcoming, healthy, safe and secure.

Alan Patrickson, head of direct services at the council, said: “We are delighted that so many of our parks and cemeteries have been awarded Green Flag status

again this year, it’s a fantastic result.”

Councillor Brian Stephens, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “We would like to acknowledge the involvement of local communities, working in partnership

with the council, in the upkeep of the sites through friends groups and volunteer activity.

“These are truly ‘community’ awards and we thank everyone who does their bit to keep parks and open spaces in excellent condition.”

The other winning parks and spaces across County Durham are Blackhill and Consett Park; Town recreation ground, Bishop Auckland; Castleside Cemetery, Consett; Moorside Cemetery, Consett; Mountsett Crematorium, Dipton and Sacriston Cemetery.

The awards are now in their 20th year.