Green Flag Award a Step to Encourage Communities to Improve Green Spaces

By Hanieh Khakpour

13th May

Photographer: Green Flag Award

One of the measures to encourage people to improve their green space is Green Flag Award: an effort to ensure that everybody has access to quality green spaces. Maryhill Park Growing Space is one of the winners of this award.

The Green Flag Award is a scheme that recognises parks and green spaces that have applied the criteria of this institution and awards them. There are 27 criteria in eight different sections which have been defined by the Green Flag Award and applicants are assessed by a team of jurors in terms of these factors. These sections include a welcoming place, secure spaces, biodiversity, community involvement, and environmental management, to name but a few.

Town parks, country parks, formal gardens, nature reserves, local nature reserves (LNR), cemeteries and crematoria, university campuses, water parks, green spaces that form part of retail and leisure destinations, pocket parks, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), hospital grounds, woodlands, allotments, and churchyards are eligible sites to request for the Green Flag Award.

The Green Flag Award Scheme, established in 1997, aims “to ensure that everybody, irrespective of where they live, has access to quality green and other open spaces”, as well as “to promote and share good practice in the green space sector”.

Although it was based in the UK initially, in 2008 it was expanded into countries outside the UK and there are currently 2341 parks and green spaces worldwide that Green Flags flies over them. Those sites that would like to achieve this award should try to improve health and education and reduce crime.

One of these parks is “Maryhill Park Growing Space” a part of the Maryhill Park located near the Spence Street entrance, adjacent to the old bowling greens and tennis courts. This is just one of the activities, but other activities include the Solar system park and Park power, which are undertaken by the Friends of Maryhill Park – a group of volunteers who look after the whole park.

Many local people remember the time when the site had become abandoned and derelict. Early in 2016 a small group of volunteers from Friends of Maryhill Park, with support from the Glasgow City Council Stalled Spaces initiative, set about cleaning up and refurbishing the site as a community growing space.

Alan Cooper one of the co-founders of this community explains the improvements which have been applied to facilitate this park. Watch the video:

Alan Cooper one of the co-founders of Friends of Maryhill Park

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