NMD Council Celebrates After Green Flag Wins

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Green Flag Celebrations at Council’s Parks and Greenway

Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin, has visited award winning parks in the district and Newry Greenway to celebrate the recent Green Flag award achievements accredited to these open spaces.

The Green Flag Awards mark the international standard in excellence for parks and open spaces, and serves to reward the hard work of managers, staff and volunteers and helps support improvements in parks and green spaces for the communities that use them.

Slieve Gullion Forest Park (Meigh) receives its seventh consecutive Green Flag, Kilbroney Park (Rostrevor) its third, Warrenpoint Municipal Park its second and the Newry Greenway its first. Warrenpoint Municipal Park is also the recipient of one of only seven coveted Green Flag Heritage awards, celebrating the rich history and heritage of the park including the recently refurbished Edwardian bandstand.

The Chairperson of Newry Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Laura Devlin, pictured in Kilbroney Park presenting the 20/21 Green Flag to (l-r) Patricia Sands, Park Warden; James Loughran, Tourism Facilities Development Manager; Deirdre Killen, Admin, and Danny Meagher representing Canal Squad Greenway who also received a Green Flag.

Council Chairperson Councillor Laura Devlin said: “The Green Flag and Heritage awards are testament to the Council’s continued commitment to maintaining active and healthy communities and I would encourage the public to safely enjoy these wonderful facilities.

“During the difficult period of Covid-19 pandemic the district’s parks and open spaces have served as a haven for many and have played a vital role in supporting the health and wellbeing of our local communities.”

A recent survey conducted by Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland found that the benefits of spending time outdoors during the Covid-19 lockdown were significant. 84% of respondents reported feeling physical health benefits and 90% reported benefits related to mental health and wellbeing.

Also over three quarters agreed that time outdoors has made them feel closer to nature (79%).

Councillor Laura Devlin, centre, presented the 20/21 Green Flag for Warrenpoint Municipal Park the 2nd awardHeritage Site plaque to (l-r) Rodney McBride, Volunteer Development Officer and Park Attendants Barry McCann and Gerry Kane.

Slieve Gullion Forest Park offers the unmissable opportunity to experience tranquil woodland trails, stunning views across the Ring of Gullion and top-class facilities for walkers and families including an adventure playground, magical Giant’s Lair trail, wildlife pond and an outdoor performance space.

Kilbroney Forest Park provides 97 acres of beautiful parkland incorporating the CS Lewis inspired Narnia walking trail, the tranquil fairy glen, bicycle trails, play parks, tennis courts, BBQ area and a picturesque Caravan Park.

Warrenpoint Municipal Park is an historic Edwardian Park that first opened in 1907, was majorly refurbished in 2018 and is listed on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest Northern Ireland.

James Loughran Tourism Facilities Development Manager looks on as Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down Council, Councillor Laura Devlin, presents the 20/21 Green Flag for Slieve Gullion Forest Park to Liam Townson, Park Attendant.

Overlooking the stunning Carlingford Lough the Park boasts a play park, tennis court, a charming listed bandstand and majestic gardens that host craft markets, music festivals and a range of other public activities and performances.

The Newry Greenway forms part of the Carlingford Lough Greenway and provides a picturesque walking, running and cycling route that connects to the idyllic Newry Towpath and is bordered by the Canal and Lough as it travels South towards the historic Victoria Lock.