The borough's parks have swept the board once again at this year's Green Flag Awards ranking them among the best in the UK and around the world.
All 10 parks managed and maintained by the council across the borough of Rochdale have achieved a well-deserved green flag once again as part of Keep Britain Tidy's Green Flag Award Scheme.
This international award recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces and is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is kept beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.
Achieving this ultimate accolade is a clear testament to the council staff and volunteers who help maintain our vital open spaces, particularly during a time when these places have become a sanctuary for many during the recent months.
The winners are:
- Denehurst Park in Rochdale
- Queen's Park in Heywood
- Middleton Memorial Gardens
- Milnrow Memorial Park
- Hare Hill Park in Littleborough
- Jubilee Park in Middleton
- Middleton Cemetery
- Truffet Park in Langley
- Hopwood Park in Heywood
- Rochdale town centre parks, which includes Broadfield Park, Rochdale Memorial Gardens, Packer Spout and St Chad's Gardens
The parks sit proudly among a total of 2,061 places who have achieved the Green Flag Award in 2020, assessed by an army of more than 1,000 volunteer judges.
Councillor Neil Emmott, cabinet member for environment at Rochdale Borough Council, said: "Through what has been a very tough year so far, we are absolutely delighted to hold onto all of our 10 Green Flag Awards. Our staff and dedicated community groups have worked tirelessly to maintain our green spaces and town centres to help us achieve this standard once again.
"These awards don't come easy and I share my thanks to everyone involved. It's important that our quality green spaces are open; providing a much-needed space for residents to take time out from the ever-changing world we are living in right now."
International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd, said: "Parks and green spaces have never been more important for the physical and mental health of everyone.
"All the research shows that spending time in good-quality green space can improve people's health and wellbeing that is why it is important that they are managed to the recognised standard of the Green Flag Award. This is now something that millions more recognise after the challenges of the past 6 months. All those involved in the Green Flag Award should be congratulated on their achievement."
The announcement is usually made in July, but due to restrictions in place from coronavirus (COVID-19), the awards were not released until Wednesday, 14 October 2020.