Douglas Borough Council has been awarded eight Green Flags by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.
The Council not only retained its six Green Flags for the third successive year - for Noble’s Park, Douglas Golf Course, Douglas Head, Douglas Borough Cemetery, Hutchinson Square and the Marine Gardens - but was also awarded two new flags, for Derby Square and Summerhill Glen.
Regeneration and Community Committee Chair Councillor Stephen Pitts said: ‘I congratulate the Parks Service team on this outstanding achievement. It is extremely rewarding to be recognised by such an authoritative independent body as Keep Britain Tidy whose Green Flag judges were impressed not only by the visual qualities of the sites but also by the dedication and knowledge the team applies to creating and maintaining such high quality green spaces.’
Council Leader Councillor David Christian MBE JP said: ‘Douglas is certainly punching above its weight as only local authorities in the north west of England serving much larger populations have won so many Green Flags this year. For Douglas to have achieved eight is testament to the hard work and vision of our Head of Parks David Hewes and his team.
‘Douglas remains the Island’s sole local authority to be have been awarded Green Flags. Winners must re-apply each year which means we have to constantly review our strategy and look at how we can build on our previous years’ successes, all the while being mindful of budgetary constraints. Those constraints have not, however, stifled investment. This year we installed a children’s splash zone in Noble’s Park, which is proving a runaway success, and where we are also investing £195,000 in a new skateboard park. In Summerhill Glen we have made improvements, including resurfacing the pathways, and during this financial year we have allocated £55,000 for installing new sound and lighting effects.
‘I am pleased, therefore, that the Council’s commitment to enhancing the quality of life in Douglas through a programme of continuous investment has achieved this benchmark national standard with no fewer than eight Green Flags.’
The Green Flag award scheme takes into account environmental, management and future planning policies along with community involvement. It is judged by more than 700 experts and is the benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces across the British Isles, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.