TWO parks in Hartlepool have retained a prestigious national quality award.

Summerhill, a 100-acre country park, and the more traditional Ward Jackson Park have again been awarded Green Flags.

They are among a record-breaking 1,476 parks and green spaces to receive the prestigious honour in 2014.

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Both have held Green Flags since 2008, and the news that they will continue to fly them for at least another 12 months has been welcomed.

Councillor Robbie Payne who has responsibility for Summerhill as Chair of the Regeneration Services Committee, added: “Much hard work has gone into developing and improving both parks in recent years and these awards recognise that. I’d like to congratulate all of the staff and volunteers who have played a part in achieving the Green Flags.”

Jane Rollo, Chair of the Friends of Ward Jackson Park, said: “We are pleased that the park has again been awarded a Green Flag and we would like to thank the parks and countryside staff at Hartlepool Council, the Friends of Wild Green Spaces in Hartlepool and their volunteers, the Rural West borough councillors and the Park Residents Association for their support.

“Anyone who would like to help maintain the park is welcome to join us on a Thursday morning at 10am. They can contact us by emailing FriendsofWardJacksonPark@hotmail.co.uk or via our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/WardJacksonParkHartlepool More information is on our website at www.FriendsofWardJacksonPark.moonfruit.com

The Green Flag Awards scheme is managed by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy and aims to recognise and reward the country’s best green spaces.