Keep Wales Tidy has unveiled this year’s Green Flag Award winners – the international mark of a quality park or green space.  

Wales has seen a huge increase in the number of award-winning sites, with 161 parks and green spaces meeting the high standard needed to receive the coveted Green Flag Award or Green Flag Community Award (110 parks awarded in 2015/16).

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Green Flag Award scheme, which is delivered in Wales by Keep Wales Tidywith support from Welsh Government. It 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, sustainability and community involvement.

Today’s winners join more than 1,600 Green Flag Award sites across the UK, Republic of Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, UAE, Australia and New Zealand.

Lesley Griffiths AM, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, said:

I am delighted to see so many green spaces achieving the standards of the Green Flag Award. The Award helps to ensure that communities have top quality green space to enjoy and experience the outdoors, which are fundamental to the wellbeing and quality of life of our communities in Wales. I congratulate all the parks and community spaces providing excellent, year round facilities and events for everyone in Wales.

Among this year's recipients of the award are Cyfartha Park in Merthyr Tydfil, Penllergaer Woods in Swansea and Newry Beach Sunken Garden in Anglesey.

Cardiff leads the way with 17 Green Flag Award sites; including, for the first time, Flat Holm Island and St Fagans Natural History Museum.

The number ofcommunity managed Green Flag Award sites has more than doubled since last year. Winners of this award rely on volunteers to maintaintheir excellent facilities,and include allotments, woodlands, local nature reserves and community gardens.

Lucy Prisk, Green Flag Coordinatorat Keep Wales Tidy, said:

We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme. Our parks and green spaces play an important role in our communities, but their benefits are often taken for granted. As well as providing havens for wildlife, having accessible, high quality green space can have a big impact of our health and wellbeing, and local economy.

All the flags flying this year are a testament to the efforts of the staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.It is thanks to them that we haveso manyfantastic facilities available on our doorstep.

Parciau Cymru’n ennill nifer fwyaf erioed o wobrau