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

The flag is flying at West House in recognition of its high environmental standards and commitment to delivering great quality green space.

Up until 2018, the site was largely used only by visitors to West House on Council business. A Stronger Communities Fund Grant enabled Penarth Town Council to redesign the site with a view to increasing community usage and biodiversity at the site.

Since then, West House Community Garden has come on leaps and bounds in both aspects: prior to achieving Green Flag status, the site became Bee Friendly through its increased range of planting, elimination of pesticide use and sustainable approach to growing, with many of the plants grown in season from seed for the garden.

“We are so proud of how the site has grown and developed over the past four years and for all the work that staff have done to turn the site into what it is today,” Penarth Town Council Leader Councillor Rhiannon Birch stated.

The site has also welcomed a number of different areas of the community into the garden to be involved in its development, including pupils from Victoria Primary School’s gardening and eco- clubs, local Girl Guides and the Penarth Growing Community, who have taken on responsibility for 2 raised planting beds, a vegetable trug and a border on site since they began.

“Penarth Growing Community welcomes the opportunity to tend and maintain this lovely growing space in the heart of the town. We are delighted to have been able to contribute towards achieving the award through our community efforts. We hope the award brings more people in to enjoy the space, and particularly to our own seed and plant exchange. We are also grateful for the dedicated work of our volunteers who have tended the community plot since July 2020.

Our aim now is to work together with the Town Council to continue to improve the growing space, increasing biodiversity, learning more about urban food growing and sharing skills, and spending time together in the garden.”

You can visit the Penarth Growing Community website to find out more about them and to see how you can get involved.

265 parks and green spaces across the country have received the prestigious Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award – from country parks and formal gardens, to allotments, woodlands and churchyards.

The Green Flag Award programme is delivered in Wales by environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy, with support from Welsh Government. Independent green space experts volunteered their time in early autumn to judge applicant sites against eight strict criteria, including biodiversity, cleanliness, environmental management, and community involvement.

Welsh Government Minister for Climate Change, Julie James said:

“Our local green spaces have a vital role to play in connecting us to nature. These awards go to prove that Wales’ parks and similar areas are doing a wonderful job in providing quality places to relax and enjoy.

“The standard required to achieve Green Flag status is very high so I want to congratulate all of the sites recognised for providing excellent, year-round facilities to local people and visitors alike.

“It’s fantastic to see we still hold more than a third of the UK’s Green Flag community sites in Wales – especially as the last two years have taught us all of the importance of nature and green spaces on our mental and physical wellbeing.”

Lucy Prisk, Green Flag Coordinator at Keep Wales Tidy said:

“With more visitors than ever enjoying our green spaces, I’d like to congratulate the hard work of staff and volunteers who have maintained excellent standards at these sites.”

A full list of award winners can be found on the Keep Wales Tidy website

  • penarth town council 005@rename start
  • penarth town council 002@rename start
  • penarth town council 000@rename start
  • penarth town council 001@rename start
  • penarth town council 003@rename start
  • penarth town council 004@rename start