Green Flag 3A terrific ten parks and open spaces in County Durham have been awarded prestigious Green Flag status.

Four parks and six cemeteries or crematoriums owned and managed by Durham County Council have been given the national accolade, which is awarded by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.

Ranging from parks and countryside sites to cemeteries and crematoria, the awards reflect the high levels of maintenance needed to keep the sites looking good and the excellent standards in management and good practice.

Judges look at criteria such as maintenance, conservation and community involvement as well as open spaces being welcoming, healthy, safe and secure.

County Durham’s tremendous ten are:

·         Blackhill and Consett Park

·         Hardwick Park, Sedgefield

·         Riverside Park, Chester le Street

·         Town recreation ground, Bishop Auckland

·         Castleside Cemetery, Consett

·         Moorside Cemetery, Consett

·         Mountsett Crematorium, Dipton

·         Ropery Lane Cemetery, Chester-le- Street

·         Sacriston Cemetery, Sacriston

·         South Road Cemetery and Crematorium, Durham

Alan Patrickson, head of direct services at Durham County Council, said: “We are delighted that so many of our parks and cemeteries have been awarded Green Flag status again this year, it’s a fantastic result.”

Cllr Brian Stephens, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “We would like to acknowledge the involvement of local communities, working in partnership with the council, in the upkeep of the sites through friends groups and volunteer activity.

“These are truly ‘community’ awards and we thank everyone who does their bit to keep parks and open spaces in excellent condition.”

The awards scheme was launched in 1996.

To find out more, visit: www.durham.gov.uk/greenflags