Press Release: Glenveagh National Park Achieves its Green Flag Award
The 2021 Green Flag Awards were announced today, Wednesday 17th of November 2021, by An Taisce Environmental Education, acknowledging Ireland’s best public parks and gardens.
International accreditation for public park excellence in Ireland has increased again this year, to reach over 100 accredited public green spaces. Ireland was today awarded a total of 103 Green Flag sites, comprised of 84 formal public Green Flag Park sites, along with 19 volunteer run Green Community Sites. Glenveagh National Park is proud to be one of the latest additions to this growing list and thanks to Carndonagh Community College students who raised our flag for us today.
2021 has also seen the successful roll-out of Green Heritage Site Accreditation across Ireland. With the support of the NPWS and the Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage, 7 Irish Green Flag sites are now accredited to Green Heritage Accreditation standard. Green Heritage Site Accreditation is awarded to public green spaces of historical and cultural significance. Glenveagh will consider this next step for 2022 and beyond.
This year over 2,300 public sites in 16 countries around the World have achieved Green Flag or Green Flag Community Award status. Once again more Green Flag Awards have been secured by Irish Parks and Gardens than by any country, other than the UK where the scheme originated in 1996.
This year participating countries include Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
Over the past year staff and management at Glenveagh have taken steps to consider how the park can be run and its services operated in a more environmentally sustainable way. With the launch of two new electric buses, commitments to other ‘green’ vehicles, strategies for the woodlands and improved social media coverage on all things nature, the staff are working year round to drive up standards and constantly improve the park. Now more than ever before we are aware of the impacts we all have on the environment and caring for our national park and making sure we set a good example is paramount.
As part of the award, Glenveagh undertook a Community Survey and received some great feedback and suggestions from local people and from next year there will be more emphasis on community engagement and outreach through the education programme. Protecting and preserving the legacy of the Castle and Gardens is also ongoing and the castle hopes to achieve Museum Status soon.
District Conservation Officer, Andrew Speer stated:
‘We are delighted with the news that we have received our Green Flag. I want to thank all the staff for supporting the changes needed to achieve the award and the Education Team for leading out on the project. In a world where the public expects a new greener approach to how we do business, the challenge for us all will be to meet those expectations year on year. Receiving our Flag is just the first step and we are committed to retaining it now long into the future.’