Green Flag Award

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Logo of the Green Flag award scheme

The Green Flag Award is the benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces in the United Kingdom. The scheme was set up in 1996 to recognise and reward green spaces in England and Wales that met the laid down high standards. It is also seen as a way of encouraging others to achieve the same high environmental standards, creating a benchmark of excellence in recreational green areas. Any free to enter public park or green space is eligible to apply for an Award. The scheme is owned by the Government through the Department for Communities and Local Government, though it is managed by other agents under contract. A pilot scheme was started in 2007 in Scotland and three parks were given awards.[1] Both primary and secondary schools may be awarded the Green Flag in recognition of steps taken towards making the school increasingly eco-friendly.

Parks and green spaces are judged in April and May each year and the winners are announced in July. Parks must apply each year to keep their Green Flag Award, and winning sites are eligible to fly a Green Flag in the park for a year.

Sites for a Green Flag Award are judged against eight key criteria:[2]

  • A welcoming place
  • Healthy, safe and secure
  • Clean and well maintained
  • Sustainability
  • Conservation and heritage
  • Community involvement
  • Marketing
  • Management

Green Pennant Award[edit]

The Green Flag Award itself is for public-run open spaces, but the same scheme runs an award for community/charity-run public spaces, such as Millennium Greens and Doorstep Greens called the Green Pennant Award. This scheme, started in 2002, has adapted the criteria for voluntary organisations.

Sites for a Green Pennant Award are judged against eight key criteria:[2]

  • A welcoming place
  • Healthy, safe and secure
  • Well maintained and clean
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Biodiversity and heritage
  • Community involvement
  • Achievement

Green Heritage Site Accreditation[edit]

Green Flag Award winning sites over 30 years old may also apply for Green Heritage Site Accreditation.[3]

Green Flag and Social Housing[edit]

Green Flag is one of the steering group partners of Neighbourhoods Green a partnership initiative which works with social landlords and housing associations to highlight the importance of, and raise the overall quality of design and management for, open and green space in social housing. Between 2012 and 2017 both parties will be working to expand Green Flag Award into the social housing sector.[4]

History and management[edit]

The scheme was originally run by volunteers from its founding in the 1990s. It was then sponsored by the government and run by the Civic Trust till the latter went into administration in 2009. Since then it has been managed by a consortium of Keep Britain Tidy, the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, and the charity Greenspace. Judges continue to be unpaid volunteers with experience and competence in the management of parks.

References[edit]

External links[edit]