The 2022 Green Flag Awards were announced today by An Taisce Environmental Education, acknowledging Ireland’s best public parks and gardens.
A record-breaking 104 awards were given to parks, heritage and community sites around the island. Of these, 85 are formal public Green Flag Park sites and 19 are volunteer run Green Community Sites.
Only awarded to sites that achieve tough environmental standards, the Green Flag Award Scheme is the mark of a quality park or green space and is recognised throughout the world. It is run in Ireland by the Environmental Education unit of An Taisce. Once again more Green Flag Awards have been secured by Irish Parks and Gardens than by any country other than the UK. Out of 136 awarded in Europe today, 104 were in Ireland.
Emlyn Cullen, Programme Manager at the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce, said: “The continued success of the Green Flag Award in Ireland is a great measure of how much the country values parks and green spaces – and how well managed many of them are. I’d like to say well done to everyone who works in the sector here for their ongoing commitment. You make a huge positive impact on your local communities and the natural environment”
The Green Flag Awards are judged every year by a peer jury of green space experts, who volunteer their time to visit applicant sites and assess them against eight strict criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability, and community involvement.
Three of the 2022 applicants were given a special award for their work supporting pollinating insects. The Pollinator Award is jointly run by An Taisce Environmental Education and the National Biodiversity Data Centre, assessing pollinator-friendly management of parks and community spaces against the recommendations of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, which is implemented by the Data Centre.
This year, the Green Flag Pollinator Award was given to Malahide Demesne and Talbot Botanical Gardens, operated by Fingal County Council. South Dublin County Council’s Tymon Park won in the town park category, and Julianstown Community Gardens were given the top prize in the community category.
Castletown House and Parkland, Oldbridge Estate, and Tralee Bay Wetlands were all highly commended for their work.
Kate Chandler, Community and Engagement Officer for the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, said: “It’s encouraging to see another year of strong applications to the Green Flag Pollinator Award. One third of our wild bees in Ireland are under threat due to a loss of food and shelter, and so we’re thrilled to see the range of activities taking place across the country to support them. We had a number of impressive new applications this year, and look forward to working with An Taisce again to encourage more applications in the years to come.”
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