THREE Monmouthshire parks have retained their coveted Green Flag Awards at a ceremony in Cheltenham. 

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.

In addition, Paul Cheeseman of the Old Station has won the Green Flag Employee of the Year award for Wales. Old Station manager John Sterry said: “This is a richly-deserved award and we’re all thrilled for Paul.  When he was presented at the Green Flag ceremony in Cheltenham (21st July) the chief executive of Keep Wales Tidy remarked that she hoped to visit Tintern to see The Old Station for herself and find out what makes it such a popular award-winning site.”

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 and this summer has seen fanzones for Welsh football supporters to follow the fortunes of the national team in the European Championships.  It was also the venue for a choral evening hosted by TV personality Alex Jones and acclaimed tenor Wynne Evans.

As well as those sites winning the Green Flag Award, five locations in Monmouthshire have gained the Green Flag Community Award – this recognises high quality green spaces managed by voluntary and community groups.  Among these 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, Crucorney Allotments, Goetre Community Garden 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 five 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.”

For more information or to get involved in Green Flag Awards, visit