Five Discovery Gateways named among country’s best green spaces

Five Valleys Regional Park Discovery Gateways have achieved Green Flag Award status – the international mark of a quality park or green space.

Flags will be flying at Bryngarw Country Park, Cwmcarn Forest, Cyfarthfa Park, Parc Bryn Bach and Ynysangharad Park in recognition of their excellent visitor facilities, high environmental standards, and commitment to delivering great quality green space.

More than just parks, the Discovery Gateways are ‘stepping stones’ into the wider landscape of the Valleys, offering visitors the chance to learn about the rich natural and cultural heritage, to experience the iconic landscape with its seasonal changes and to reconnect with the nature on our doorsteps, with all of the benefit that brings.

Phil Lewis, who is leading on the Valleys Regional Park, said:
“It’s fantastic to see our Discovery Gateways being recognised for excellence once again in this year’s Green Flag Awards. We have been shown more clearly than ever before the vital importance of such places for our health and well-being and we’re incredibly lucky in the Valleys to have these amazing natural landscapes on our doorsteps, and the outstanding Gateways that help connect us to them. The award once again illustrates the hard work of everyone involved and the dedication to delivering such important and high quality visitor experiences. Well done to all.”

This year, 224 parks and green spaces across the country have received the prestigious Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award – from country parks and formal gardens, to allotments, woodlands and churchyards.

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 five flags flying in the Valleys Regional Park 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.

A full list of award winners can be found on the Keep Wales Tidy website

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