City tops league for best parks

p12 ld'Autumn in Ecclessall Woods, by Les Cornthwaite
p12 ld'Autumn in Ecclessall Woods, by Les Cornthwaite
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SHEFFIELD has kept its reputation as the region’s greenest city by bagging 20 out of 85 awards handed out across Yorkshire for parks and green spaces.

The Green Flag Scheme honours the quality of open spaces, with two types of accolade - Green Flag and Community awards.

Sheffield has received 13 Green Flags this year - the most of anywhere in the region.

They were given to Wyming Brook Nature Reserve, Cholera Monument Grounds and Clay Wood, Devonshire Green, Ecclesall Woods, Firth Heritage Park, Norfolk Heritage Park, Peace Gardens, Sheffield Botanical Gardens, Sheffield Winter Garden, Tinsley Green, Weston Park, Wheata Woods, Meersbrook Park and Millhouses Park.

Meanwhile, six of the 16 Community awards also went to Sheffield - Charnock Recreation Ground, Manor Fields, Heeley City Farm, Meersbrook Walled Garden, Grenoside Green and Wortley Hall were the winners.

Overall a third more awards were handed out than the 59 announced last year, which included 16 in Sheffield.

Elsewhere in South Yorkshire, 2011 Green Flag awards went to Rother Valley Country Park, Bradgate Park, Rosehill Victoria Park, Thrybergh Country Park and Clifton Park, all in Rotherham and Cusworth Park, in Doncaster.

Cannon Hall Museum Park and Gardens and Elsecar Park and Local Reservoir Nature Reserve, in Barnsley were also winners.

Phil Barton, chairman of the Green Flag Plus Partnership, which runs the scheme, said: “Good-quality green spaces are central to our communities. The Green Flag scheme is essential in driving up standards of our parks.”

Award-winning sites now have the chance to receive a further honour, the People’s Choice Award.

Supporters can log on to www.keepbritaintidy.org/GreenFlag/GreenFlag and vote for their favourite park or green space.