MONMOUTHSHIRE County Council is celebrating the news that three of its open spaces have retained their coveted Green Flag Award granted last year by leading environmental charity, Keep Wales Tidy.

Tintern’s Old Station, Caldicot Castle and Country Park and Abergavenny’s Castle Meadows have been recognised as being among the best parks and green spaces in the country and maintaining high standards throughout the year. The awards recognise the considerable efforts made by volunteers and park managers to reach these standards.

Monmouthshire’s parks are very popular with residents and visitors and have attracted a number of awards in recent years.  Tintern’s Old Station has developed an excellent reputation as one of the area’s top visitor centres and was voted the UK’s favourite park in the 2011 People’s Choice Green Flag Award public poll.  It’s situated in a scenic wooded area next to the River Wye and its tea room is noted for its fare.

Caldicot’s magnificent medieval castle is set in fifty-five acres of beautiful country park offering an ideal setting for picnics and walks against the background of the castle walls, with picnic tables and barbeques.  The castle hosts a number of events throughout the year, drawing people from far and wide including concerts by pop group Little Mix and rock legends Status Quo.

Abergavenny’s tranquil Castle Meadows are set on the banks of the River Usk.  This peaceful setting is just a short stroll from the centre of the town and was the location for the very successful 2016 Monmouthshire and District National Eisteddfod.

As well as those sites winning the Green Flag Award, seven locations in Monmouthshire have gained the Green Flag Community Award – this recognises high quality green spaces managed by voluntary and community groups.  Among these groups is the Friends of Bailey Park which meets regularly to weed and maintain a sensory garden. The other locations in the county achieving the Green Flag Community Award are Crick Woodland, Crick Meadow, Crucorney Allotments, Goetre Community Garden, Portskewett’s The Cornfield and Abergavenny’s Laurie Jones Community Orchard.

County Councillor Bob Greenland, cabinet member with responsibility for Tourism and Leisure said: “It’s wonderful news that three of the council’s parks have been recognised as worthy of the Green Flag Award, providing our communities with such highly-rated facilities.  Monmouthshire is a beautiful county and The Old Station, Caldicot Castle with its Country Park and Abergavenny’s Castle Meadows are among the venues that people flock to visit.  Congratulations also go to the seven sites that have won the Green Flag Community Award.  I am particularly pleased that both awards recognise the effort and role of the volunteers at each site.”

A record-breaking 201 parks and green spaces, including universities, cemeteries, woodlands and allotments across Wales have met the high standards needed to receive the coveted Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award. The Green Flag Award programme is judged by green space experts, who volunteer their time to visit applicant sites and assess them against eight strict criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, environmental management and community involvement.

Lucy Prisk, Green Flag Coordinator at Keep Wales Tidy said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Awards in Wales.  The 201 flags flying are a testament to the dedication and enthusiasm of the staff and volunteers across the country who work tirelessly to maintain Green Flag Award standards. 

“I’d encourage everyone to get outdoors this summer and enjoy the incredible parks and green spaces we have on our doorstep.”

A full list of award winners is available on the Keep Wales Tidy website: