Darlington Borough Council is celebrating after receiving a Green Flag Award for South Park and West Park.

Two parks in Darlington have been recognised for their beauty and enriching the lives of locals.

South Park was opened in 1850 and is Darlington’s most visited park complete with aviary, bowling green, café, pond, rose garden, and play area.

Keep Britain Tidy’s Green Flag Award Scheme Manager Paul Todd MBE said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved at South Park and West Park in achieving a Green Flag Award.

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“They are vital green spaces for the community in Darlington, bringing people together and providing opportunities to lead healthy lifestyles.

“The staff and volunteers do so much to ensure that they maintain the high standards of the Green Flag Award and everyone involved should feel extremely proud of their achievement.”

Councillor Libby McCollom, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for local services said: “We’re delighted that South Park and West Park have once again secured Green Flag Awards and I’d like to thank our staff, Friends groups and the many volunteers who give their time to help keep our parks looking their best.

“These awards represent well-deserved recognition for all their hard work – we simply couldn’t do it without you!”

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Neil Brimer, chair of West Park Levy Trust, added: “We’re pleased the Green Flag judges see West Park as we do, ‘an excellent community country park which shows the way forward for integrated high quality urban living’.

“Achieving the Green Flag Award shows the level of partnership between the council, the trust and the community.

“The trust is committed to continuously improving the park and wider green space as the community continues to grow, through caring for the environment, sharing great green spaces with community, while daring to do things differently using the West Park Levy.”

South Park is a Victorian Park with a lake, aviaries, bowling green, café, play areas, skate park and bandstand. 

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It is host to a range of events and activities such as charity fun runs, proms in the park and fitness clubs. 

South Park was the first park in Darlington and this year marks its 17th year as a Green Flag Award winner.

Officially opened in 2005, West Park was the first new park in Darlington in 100 years and this is its ninth Green Flag Award.

The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of green spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.