Two parks in Hartlepool are flying the flag after retaining a prestigious national quality award.
Summerhill, a 100-acre country park, and the more traditional Ward Jackson Park have once again been awarded Green Flag accolades.
The awards scheme is managed by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy and Summerhill and Ward Jackson Park are among a record-breaking 1,582 parks and green spaces to be recognised this year.
Both have held Green Flag Awards since 2008.
Coun Marjorie James, whose remit as chair of Hartlepool Council’s neighbourhood services policy committee covers Ward Jackson Park, said: “Ward Jackson Park looks absolutely wonderful, particularly at this time of year when its shrubs and flowers are in full bloom.
“Credit must go to everyone who contributes to its success, both the council staff who work there on a day-to-day basis and the many volunteers – including the Friends of Ward Jackson Park, the Friends of Hartlepool’s Wild Green Spaces and the Council’s Parks and Countryside Team volunteers - who so unselfishly give up their spare time to get involved in a range of improvement projects and activities.”
Coun Stephen Akers-Belcher, vice-chair of the council’s regeneration services policy committee which has responsibility for Summerhill, said: “I would like to congratulate everyone at Summerhill, including the staff, Friends of Summerhill group and other volunteers, on the retention once again of their Green Flag, a nationally-recognised quality mark that means visitors can be assured of first-class facilities, signage and amenities.
“A lot of hard work has gone into developing the site over a number of years and I am delighted that these efforts continue to be recognised locally, regionally and nationally.”
Coun Ray Martin-Wells, a councillor in Rural West Ward, said: “I am delighted that the hard work put in by the many volunteers and continued financial support from Hartlepool Council has enabled Ward Jackson Park and Summerhill to retain their Green Flags.”
Coun Allan Barclay, vice-chair of the neighbourhood services policy committee and a Manor House ward councillor, added: “Both Ward Jackson Park and Summerhill Country Park are valuable assets for the town that are enjoyed by thousands of people, and I would like to congratulate everyone who has played a part in the retention of the Green Flag Awards.”
Joanne Shaw, Secretary of the Friends of Ward Jackson Park, said: “We are delighted that the park has again been recognised with a Green Flag Award and we would like to thank staff at Hartlepool Council, the Friends of Hartlepool’s Wild Green Spaces, Park Residents Association, volunteers and the Rural West borough councillors for their on-going support.”
New members would be welcomed by both groups and people can contact the Friends of Summerhill via Summerhill Country Park on (01429) 284584. The Friends of Hartlepool’s Wild Green Spaces can be contacted on 07769 815017 or via their Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/FOHWGS .”