DORSET is celebrating after three country parks and two nature sites were handed prestigious awards.
Green Flag Awards, which recognise well managed and maintained open spaces across the UK, have been awarded to the Avon Heath, Stour Meadows, Milldown, Durlston, and Thorncombe Woods, Black Heath and Hardy’s Birthplace sites.
Durlston Country Park has also achieved the Green Heritage Site Accreditation, supported by Historic England, for the management of its historic features.
They are all managed by Dorset Council and portfolio holder for highways, travel and environment, Councillor Ray Bryan, said: “I am thrilled to hear that once again Dorset’s country parks and green spaces are being rightly recognised as some of the best in the country.
“Regularly spending time in the outdoors has proven benefits for health and well-being, which is why it is so important that we take all the steps necessary at our countryside sites to maintain the high standards associated with the Green Flag status.
“These sites will also play a critical role in our efforts to make nature bigger, better and more joined up in our county.”
Keep Britain Tidy’s Green Flag Award scheme manager, Paul Todd MBE, said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in achieving these Green Flag Awards.
“Country parks and nature sites are vital green spaces for the community in Dorset, bringing people together and providing opportunities to lead healthy lifestyles.
“The staff and volunteers do so much to ensure they maintain the high standards of the Green Flag Award and everyone involved should feel extremely proud of their achievement.”
The Green Flag Award scheme is managed by Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
It recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, aiming to set ‘the benchmark standard for the management of green spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world’.