For the fourth successive year, Douglas has been awarded nine prestigious green flags.
The accolade, managed by the UK environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, is considered the benchmark standard for recreational outdoor spaces and sites across the British Isles.
Noble’s Park has been officially recognised as one of the best parks by being awarded the coveted Green Flag.
In addition, eight other parks and green spaces managed by Douglas Borough Council’s Parks Services have been recognised: Douglas Golf Course, Douglas Head, the Kaye Memorial Garden, Summerhill Glen, Derby Square, Douglas Borough Cemetery, Hutchinson Square and the Marine Gardens.
Since entering the scheme for the first time in 2013 (when it was awarded two flags), the local authority has been consistently successful and seen its tally regularly increase.
However, during a year which saw untold damage caused by Storm Barra last December, Regeneration and Community Committee Chair, Councillor Andrew Bentley, believes retaining all nine flags is a particularly impressive achievement.
‘After two years that have seen our parks and green spaces play a vital role for people through lockdowns as a place to relax, exercise and meet friends and family safely, this is truly wonderful.
‘Yet in many ways to receive this news in 2022 is an even finer accolade given it has been far from business as usual with the fallout of Storm Barra, as well as the position where we have experienced and continue to experience a number of staff shortages.
‘It is also testament to the continued hard work and dedication of the Parks Services team that creates consistently magnificent green spaces that everyone can enjoy.
‘Good quality, open green spaces contribute significantly to community quality of life and it is impressive that their efforts have been publicly recognised again by such a respected independent body.’
Not only are the Green Flags the international quality mark for parks and green spaces, the scheme operates a rigorous assessment process with judging involving more than 700 experts.
In addition, the sites are not automatically renewed, meaning the Council has to continually come up with new schemes and maintain high standards to retain their status.
Council Leader Claire Wells says the awards demonstrate the Council’s commitment to investing in green spaces in the capital.
‘To have been awarded nine Green Flags again underlines the commitment to make Douglas a desirable place to live, work and visit,’ she added.
‘Yet it’s not just about well-tended parks and gardens but it’s about investing in community spaces that add value to people’s lives and contribute to creating a positive image.
‘Many congratulations to the Parks Services team for all their work and vision. It is another fitting honour in the year we have been awarded city status’.
Commenting on the news that Noble’s Park has met the Green Flag Award standard, Keep Britain Tidy’s Accreditation Manager Paul Todd said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making Noble’s Park worthy of a Green Flag Award.
“The park is a vital green space for the community in Douglas and testament to all the hard work of staff and volunteers who do so much to ensure that it maintains the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”