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Famous Five: Douglas scoops five Green Flag awards

Douglas Borough Council will be flying the flag five times over after being awarded five Green Flags.


2015 is the third year in succession that Douglas has been successful in the scheme, run by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, which recognises excellence in parks and green spaces and judges them against eight criteria including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement.


For the third year in a row Green Flags have been awarded to Noble’s Park and the sunken gardens and for two successive years to Douglas Golf Course and Douglas Head. Newcomer for 2015 is Hutchinson Square (pictured below) which receives a Green Flag on its first application, following a major refurbishment by the Council which has restored it to the elegant garden square it once was and includes displays reflecting its role as an internment camp during the Second World War.


 ASquare ASC4668 MediumHutchinson Square


Council Leader Councillor David Christian MBE JP said: ‘To have five sites rewarded with Green Flags - four of them repeat awards – is wonderful news and testament to the vision of Head of Parks Dave Hewes and the tremendous hard work year round of his team to create outstanding green open spaces that add so much to the quality of life in the capital.


‘It’s particularly fitting that after major investment in Hutchinson Square, with a scheme that acknowledges its wartime role, it has been awarded a Green Flag in 2015, the year which marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.


‘Douglas Golf Course is very much a jewel in Douglas’s crown. Thanks to the dedication of Head Green Keeper Murray Jones and his team the course is in championship condition, so I am delighted that this valuable community amenity has been awarded a Green Flag for the second year running.


AGolfCourse BSC0815 MediumDouglas golf course


‘Douglas remains the sole local authority in the Island to have been awarded Green Flags. Even in these times when we are faced with the difficult task of balancing budgets and delivering more for less, green spaces remain a priority for the Council, as we recognise the important community asset parks and open spaces represent and how much they contribute to people’s quality of life.


‘Receiving these five Green Flags is a cause for celebration, but it’s also an incentive to build on that success for the future because a Green Flag isn’t for life and winners must apply each year to renew their status.


‘The Council is firmly of the belief that providing these green spaces are as much a part of town centre regeneration as new paving and lighting and that they have an equally crucial role in sending out the all-important message that Douglas is very much open for business.’


Regeneration and Community Committee Chairman Councillor John Skinner said: ‘The parks and green-keeping teams are to be congratulated on winning these five Green Flags. They work tirelessly 12 months of the year to ensure our green spaces are maintained to the highest standards. The greens and fairways of Douglas Golf Course are in immaculate condition and truly deserving of its Green Flag, as is Hutchinson Square, which has now regained its rightful place as a community leisure facility of the highest order, along with Noble’s Park, the sunken gardens and Douglas Head – all sites which help bring communities and generations together.’


International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: ‘We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme. All the flags flying this year are a testament to the efforts of the thousands of men and women, both staff and volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.’


The Green Flag award scheme, which takes into account environmental, management and future planning policies along with community involvement, 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, awarded by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.