17 November 2021

Ireland celebrates more than 100 Green Flag Award winners

Parks and green spaces across Ireland were today recognised with a record breaking 103 Green Flag Awards.

Winners were comprised of 84 Green Flag Awards from park management organisations and local authorities, and a further 19 Green Flag Community Awards for those sites managed and maintained by community groups or volunteers.

The success was celebrated with an event at Malahide Castle; located within Malahide Demesne, and was attended by Ireland's Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities; Joe O’Brien

Minister O’Brien said:

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the hard work put in by park staff, and community volunteers, across the country. Not only in achieving this Green Flag Success for Ireland today, but in maintaining the many parks, gardens, and green spaces across the country for our mutual benefit. It is a great credit that they largely remained open and well managed at this difficult time.”

“Since 2018 the Department of Rural and Community Development has supported An Taisce with the expansion of the Green Flag Award into our community run spaces. By doing this we have been able to leverage the Green Flag Award values and standards for the benefit of our communities and their voluntary work."

A full list of the winners and a global map can be found on the homepage of the Green Flag Award website: www.greenflagaward.org

Craig Savage, Gardener for The Office for Public Works celebrates Green Heritage Site accreditation for the Irish National War Memorial Gardens in Dublin
IMAGE 1: Craig Savage - Gardener for the Office for Public Works proudly celebrates Green Heritage Site accreditation for the Irish National War Memorial Gardens in Dublin.

Seven Green Flag Award sites in Ireland have now also been recognised with the Green Heritage Site accreditation. This is an additional accreditation that reviews the treatment of the site’s historic features and their standards of conservation. Whilst the Irish National War Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge, Dublin have been accredited with Green Heritage for a number of years - 2021 saw the first official launch of the scheme by An Taisce with the support of Ireland's National Parks and Wildlife Service. It is supported in England by Historic England.

Green Heritage Site accreditation


Malcolm Noonan - Irish Minister of State with responsibility for Heritage said
:

"The scheme brings together the human and natural aspect of a place. It celebrates best practice in engagement with multi-layered heritage and reminds us all of our responsibility to appreciate and preserve richness and diversity of the green spaces that surround us”

About the Green Flag Award

The Green Flag Award is managed internationally by Keep Britain Tidy and a network of partners who deliver the program nationally. 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of the Award. Originating in England in 1996 – winners now fly Green Flag Award flags over more than 2,000 parks and green spaces in 16 countries around the world.

In Ireland the programme is managed by An Taisce - The National Trust for Ireland. Through their Environmental Education Department, and by gaining support from the Irish government, they have successfully increased Green Flag Awards from zero to 100 in just six years.

32 local authorities and park operators are now engaged in the programme in Ireland. This ongoing commitment from park managers, organisations and communities  to meet the international standards has made it the most accredited country for Green Flag Awards outside the UK.

Robert Moss - Manager of the Green Flag Award programme in Ireland for An Taisce said:

“I think that the collaborative aspect of the Green Flag Award Scheme is of huge benefit. Not only for the free flow of knowledge, experience, and solutions, but also because it builds trust and understanding between community groups and local authorities when they are working together to achieve green flag status for their green spaces ”

Pollinator Plan Award

Three of the 2021 Green Flag Award winning parks were also identified by Ireland's National Biodiversity Data Centre for an additional Pollinator Plan Award. Kilbarry Nature Park, operated by Waterford Council, was the overall winner this year. 

All-Ireland Pollinator Plan

 

 

Site

Managing Organisation

Category Award winners

Country Park

Ballycroy Visitor Centre at Wild Nephin National Park

 

National Parks and Wildlife Service

Town Park

Kilbarry Nature Park

Waterford City and County Council

Community

Julianstown Community Garden

 

County Meath

Highly Commended/Special Award winners

Country Park

Castletown House & Parklands

Office of Public Works

Town Park

Maynooth University/Saint Patrick’s College

Maynooth Campus 

Town Park

Saint Anne’s Park    

Dublin City Council


This award is specifically for those Green Flag Award winners that have made an effort to protect and enhance habitats for pollinating insects, and to promote their importance. The Pollinator Plan Award is jointly run with An Taisce Environmental Education to support the All Ireland Pollinator Plan, and is kindly sponsored by Young’s Nurseries.

While there are pollinator project awards across different park categories it was Kilbarry Nature Park, operated by Waterford Council, that was the overall winner. This nature park is located upon the site of a rehabilitated landfill site, so it is great to see that a former environmental problem has evolved into an environmental asset.

2021 Green Flag Award winners

A full list of the winners and a global map can be found on the homepage of the Green Flag Award website: www.greenflagaward.org

Carl McClean - International Development Manager for the Green Flag Award said:

“Well done to everyone who has achieved a Green Flag Award this year. It’s testament to the hard work of the staff, management and volunteers who kept parks and green spaces going through challenging times and made them such important places every year – and especially so through the coronavirus pandemic.”


Earlier in the year Finland celebrated 11 winners, the rest of Europe 30 winners, and the UK – where the Award program originated - an impressive 2,127.

Australia and New Zealand will announce later in the year.

The involvement of France brings the total number of countries where Green Flag Award is delivered to 16 – firmly establishing it as the most widely recognised accreditation programme for parks and green spaces in the world.

Current country figures are included below, some of which reflect last year’s figures where 2021 results are still to be announced:

 

No.

Country

Total

Notes

1

Australia

9

2020 figure

2

Belgium

8

 

3

Finland

10

 

4

France

3

 

5

Germany

2

 

6

Mexico

2

 

7

Netherlands

2

 

8

New Zealand

24

2020 figure

9

Portugal

5

 

10

Republic of Ireland

103

11

Spain

5

 

12

Sweden

2

 

13

Turkey

3

 

14

United Arab Emirates

6

15

United Kingdom

2,127

 

16

United States of America

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

2,312

 

 

The Green Flag Award® is a non-profit international accreditation programme that recognises and rewards well managed parks and green spaces. Originating in England in 1996 - today the Green Flag Award proudly flies above more than 2,000 places in 16 countries around the world.

To find out more in general, or apply for an Award, whichever country you are based in; please feel free to explore our website and get in touch.

If you know of a park or a country not yet involved in the Green Flag Award that might be interested, please Contact Us