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Green Flag Award Criteria


Green Flag Award applications are judged against eight key criteria. Where certain criteria are not met, applicants can provide justifications that may be taken into account. What's more, if management practice changes are in progress but not yet fully implemented, transitional phases will be acknowledged and viewed positively.

The judging criteria also considers the fact that each park/green space will offer different kinds of facilities, and will be managed and developed to varying opportunities and constraints. Innovation and the way facilities offered are tailored to the needs of the community will also be taken into account.

Eight key criteria

1. A Welcoming Place

When approaching or entering the park/green space, the overall impression for any member of the community - regardless of the purpose of their visit - should be positive and inviting. There should be:

  • Welcome
  • Good and safe access
  • Good signage to and in the park/green space
  • Equal access for all members of the community

2. Healthy, Safe and Secure

The park/green space must be a healthy, safe and secure place for all members of the community to use. Any issues that have come to light must be addressed in the management plan and implemented on the ground. New issues that arise must be addressed promptly and appropriately:

  • Appropriate provision of quality facilities and activities
  • Safe equipment and facilities
  • Personal security
  • Control of dog/dog fouling

3. Well Maintained and Clean

For aesthetic as well as health and safety reasons, issues of cleanliness and maintenance must be adequately addressed, in particular:

  • Litter and waste management
  • Horticultural maintenance
  • Arboricultural maintenance
  • Building and infrastructure maintenance
  • Equipment maintenance

4. Environmental Management

Methods used in maintaining the park/green space and its facilities should be environmentally sound, relying on best practices available according to current knowledge. Management should be aware of the range of techniques available to them, and demonstrate that informed choices have been made and are regularly reviewed. Parks/green spaces should:

  • Managing environmental impact
  • Waste minimisation
  • Chemical use
  • Peat use
  • Climate change adaption strategies

5. Conservation and Heritage

Particular attention should be paid to the conservation and appropriate management of:

  • Management of natural features, wild fauna and flora
  • Conservation of landscape features
  • Conservation of buildings and structures

6. Community Involvement

The park/green space management should actively pursue the involvement of members of the community who represent as many park/green space user groups as possible. The following should be demonstrated:

  • Community involvement in management and development
  • Appropriate provision for community

7. Marketing and Communication

Managers should demonstrate that they understand the key benefits of the site and how they are using the information to promote it appropriately through:
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Appropriate information channels
  • Appropriate educational and interpretational information

8. Management

This section evaluates how well the management plan is implemented onsite.
  • Implementation of the management plan

photos courtesy of Tourism NI