[Banner Image] Children Celebrate Malahide Castle Demesne's Green Flag Award for Fingal County Council.Picture shows Katie and Christopher O'Connor at An Taisce's Green Flag Award for Parks. 
Photographer: Naoise Culhane, 20th of July 2017.

Overview

The Green Flag for Parks Award Scheme is an international standard for well managed public parks and green spaces. The scheme acknowledges and accredits best practice in the sustainable management of parks and green spaces.

During six years of operation here in Ireland the scheme has significantly raised the profile of our public parks and gardens. At the same time, it has been highlighting the potential within the public green space sector toward delivering on the UN Sustainability Development Goals.

Internationally it now operates across 15 countries where 2,228 sites were accredited to Green Flag Award status in 2020. In Ireland there are now 3291 hectares of public green space being managed to Green Flag Award standards across the country. 


The Green Flag for Parks Award

Corkagh Park from South Dublin show off their 2018 Green Flag on the steps of Castletown House. Left to right: Caimin Keenan - Foreman of Works, Deirdre O’Riordan - Parks Superintendent, Robert Moss - An Taisce Green Flag Award for Parks Manager, Martina Wade - General Operative, Alan Meleady - General Operative. Photograph by Naoise Culhane, Thursday 19th of July 2018.

The Green Flag Award is an international standard for high quality public park and green space provision.This is awarded to formal public parks and green spaces. They must be freely accessible to the public.

There is an annual application fee of €500 for formal Green Flag Award applications.

All application sites for Green Flag Award status receive an annual survey with feedback from trained Green Flag Award Judges. Candidate sites are surveyed across 27 criteria.

Successfully accredited Green Flag Award sites are promoted upon the international www.greenflagaward.org website.


The
Green Flag Community Award

Ballaghaderreen Community Garden is a great example of a Green Flag Community Award Site. This community garden was accredited as a Green Flag Community Award Site for the first time in 2020. Photograph kindly provided by Maria Fleming, 2021.

All volunteer run community green spaces are eligible to enter as long as they are freely accessible. This is aimed at Community Gardens, Tidy Towns Projects, Community Parks, Allotments, etc.

There is no application fee for a community award application.

The Green Flag Community Award is run in Ireland with the support of the Department of Rural and Community Development.


Green Heritage Site Accreditation

This is currently available to suitable Green Flag Award public green spaces. Those that are managed to Green Flag Award standards, and that also actively understand, manage, and promote the elements of their heritage that make them unique.

The Green Heritage Accreditation is run in Ireland with the support of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.



The Pollinator Plan Award

Malahide Demesne overall prize winner of 2019 Pollinator Project category for its pollinator-friendly planting and gardening and its efforts to educate the public and to promote these efforts through its website and social media. Photograph by Brian Reilly-Troy 17th of July 2019.

The Pollinator Plan Award was introduced in 2017 for participating Green Flag Award Parks. 

This additional award is entirely optional for those Green Flag Award sites, or Green Flag Community Award sites that have engaged with the All Ireland Pollinator Plan, and its recommended actions. The Pollinator Plan Award is jointly run with the National Biodiversity Data Centre to support the All Ireland Pollinator Plan, and is kindly sponsored by Young’s Nurseries. 


Green Flag Parks Award
 
Guidance

In 2019 Green Flag Award for Park accredited sites increased to six in County Mayo! Two of which are for the Green Flag Community Award which is supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development. Photograph by Brian Reilly-Troy 17th of July 2019.

This Green Flag for Parks Scheme has been enthusiastically received as it delivers major wins for the delivery of quality green spaces for respective parks and park departments. Strategically these include:

  •   Coordinating the improvement and sustainable development of parks
  •   Delivering recognition of well run parks and green spaces
  •   Providing a network for acquiring and disseminating best practice for park management and     
      development

The Green Flag for Parks Award Scheme is open to any freely accessible park or green space that has a site-specific management plan, including:

  •       Town parks
  •       Country parks
  •       Formal gardens
  •       Nature reserves
  •       Local nature reserves
  •       Cemetery and crematoria
  •       Water parks
  •       Public Open spaces
  •       Millennium greens
  •       Sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs)
  •       Woodlands
  •       Allotments
  •       University campuses
  •       Greenways

Green Flag for Parks Award applications are judged across eight key topics, containing 27 criteria. Where certain criteria are not met, applicants can provide justifications that may be taken into account. What's more, if management practice changes are in progress but not yet fully implemented, transitional phases will be acknowledged and viewed positively. The eight Green Flag Award topics are as follows:

  •   A Welcoming Place
  •   Healthy Safe and Secure
  •   Well Maintained and Clean
  •   Environmental Management
  •   Management of Biodiversity, Landscape and Heritage
  •   Community Involvement
  •   Marketing and Communication
  •   Management

For a full description of the Green Flag for Parks Award criteria, please visit the following page of the Green Flag for Parks Award website: http://greenflagaward.org/how-it-works/judging-criteria/

Please consider the following when selecting your Green Flag Award candidate park, and when completing the management plan for this park/site:

  •       Address all criteria and sub criteria.
  •       State if a particular sub criteria is not relevant.
  •       Not all sub criteria will be relevant to the applicant park, and not all desired improvements
          possible due to budget constraints, location, park usage, policy, or conflicting issues. Such
          situations should be clearly outlined within that section of the management plan.           

The following online guidance manual may also be of use to you. It is worth reading through in preparation to compiling a park management plan for the Green Flag for Parks Scheme: http://greenflagaward.org/how-it-works/guidance-documents/


Supporting Documents

Press Releases

Further Information:

Contact Robert Moss: [email protected]

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