Headlines: July 29th, 2008

For the third year running, Manchester has been named as the country’s leading authority when it comes to parks and open spaces. Twenty seven of its parks and green spaces have been placed on a list of the best in England and Wales.

The city council collected its Green Flag Awards at an event in Liverpool. The award scheme, which is managed by the Civic Trust, sets national standards for parks and public green spaces. Manchester City Council maintained its top position by securing a further six awards this year.

Its list of winners includes Victorian parks and town centre gardens as well as nature reserves, country parks and cemeteries. The city’s Heaton Park was also named as a Green Heritage winner for the second year in a row following its multi-million pound restoration. Under the scheme all the sites awarded Green Flags have to meet criteria for being welcoming, safe and well maintained as well as having encouraging the strong involvement of their local community.

Councillor Mike Amesbury, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, said the awards were an acknowledgement of the council staff and the community groups who maintained and improved the city’s parks. “It is also a credit to the city’s many friends of parks groups, who make a vital contribution. We have many diverse open spaces from pockets of
greenery in the city centre to the vast landscape of Heaton Park. The parks in our city are indeed something to celebrate and the awards are testimony to this,” he added.