Celebrating Our Green Spaces
Written by Gavin on 15th October 2021
Rhondda Cynon Taf has some of the finest parks and green spaces in Wales – it’s official!
Keep Tidy Wales has announced its latest Green Flag and Community Award winners across the country, and 13 of our parks and community gardens have been recognised.
Now in its third decade, the international Green Flag Award is a sign to the public that a park or green space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.
Proudly flying the Green Flag in Rhondda Cynon Taf is Aberdare Park, Dare Valley Country Park, Taff’s Well Park and Ynysangharad War Memorial Park.
Also receiving Community Awards are Butchers Pool, Ynysybwl; Blaen-y-Cwm Chapel Quiet Garden; Cwm Clydach Countryside Park; Daerwonno Outdoor Centre, Llanwonno; Lee Gardens Pool, Penrhiwceiber; Pontyclun Community Garden; St Winifred’s Church, Penrhiwceiber; Wimbles Community Garden, Llanharan; and Wimbles Community Garden, Brynna.
Councillor Ann Crimmings, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure and Heritage Services, said: “Once again I am delighted that so many of our local parks and green spaces have been officially recognised by Keep Wales Tidy.
“The Green Flag is the international mark of a quality park or green space and we are once again proud to be flying the Green Flag at parks across our County Borough.
“Earlier this year the Council launched its online ‘Let’s Talk Climate Change RCT’ conversation with local residents and businesses, asking for views on such things as how the Council can shape its ‘Green’ plans for the future.
“Our aim is for Rhondda Cynon Taf Council to be a Carbon Neutral Council by 2030 and that the County Borough will also be as near as possible to Carbon Neutral by then.
“Everyone of us can do our bit for the environment, no matter how big or small. We have a wealth of natural treasures here in Rhondda Cynon Taf that make the perfect venue for a weekend of exploration.
“We are encouraging everyone to make the most of their natural surroundings by visiting their local parks and green spaces throughout the changing seasons.”
The Green Flag Awards programme is delivered in Wales by environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy, with support from Welsh Government. Independent green space experts volunteered their time in early autumn to judge applicant sites against eight strict criteria, including biodiversity, cleanliness, environmental management and community involvement.
Lucy Prisk, Green Flag co-ordinator at Keep Wales Tidy, said: “The pandemic showed us just how important high-quality parks and green spaces are to our communities. With more visitors than ever enjoying our green spaces, I’d like to congratulate the hard work of staff and volunteers who have maintained excellent standards at these sites.”
Visit Your Local Park (URL link) https://www.rctcbc.gov.uk/EN/Tourism/Thingstodo/Parks/Parks.aspx
Julie James, Wales Minister for Climate Change, said: “Green spaces are vital for mental and physical well-being and throughout the pandemic we have seen how important these spaces have been for local communities.
“Wales still holds more than a third of the UK’s Green Flag community sites and it is fantastic to see more places in Wales receiving the Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award.
“These landscapes play a vital role in delivering rich ecosystems and vibrant and resilient communities, and I congratulate all of the sites for providing excellent, year-round facilities and events for people in Wales.”