Monmouthshire County Council is proud to announce that more of the county’s attractions and open spaces have won prestigious Green Flag Awards this year. Abergavenny’s very own Castle Meadows (award winners since 2014), Bailey Park and Laurie Jones Community Orchard are amongst the list of reputable winners.

The awards, presented by leading environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy, give recognition to the locations that offer excellent facilities while demonstrating an ongoing commitment to delivering great quality green space.

Abergavenny’s tranquil Castle Meadows on the banks of the River Usk provides a peaceful setting just a short stroll from the centre of the town. Castle Meadows was the location for the very successful 2016 Monmouthshire and District National Eisteddfod.

Volunteers from Friends of Castle Meadows have worked tirelessly to maintain the beauty of the Meadows, similarly to the extraordinary efforts exhibited at Bailey Park, as Abergavenny in Bloom rapidly approaches.

A spokesperson from Friends of Bailey Park said: "Exciting news! We’ve met the high standards needed to achieve the Green Flag Community Award. Achieving this has been a team effort – it’s all down to our incredible volunteers who give up their time to care for Bailey Park. Congratulations to all the Green Flag Awards Community Award winners. 180 across Wales!"

This year also sees Green Flag Awards going to Laurie Jones Community Orchard for the eighth time. A spokesperson said: “we are delighted to be awarded the Green Flag... We want to thank all the people of Abergavenny for their support as it is people who make these green spaces  the welcoming spaces that they are.”

In addition, Goytre Community Gardens have been recognised for the seventh year. Situated in the grounds of Capel Ed Church, it is a relaxing space for people to enjoy with flower beds, wildflower, sensory areas, an orchard and a pond. It is a very productive growing space and it includes individual mini plots in which garden members grow a variety of fruit and vegetables.

Communal plots where food is grown for the community as well as a communal greenhouse are also available. A spokesperson said: “We are very pleased to win this award for the seventh year running and I would like to thank the committee and the garden members who work together to make the garden so successful.”

Other areas across the county recognised include: Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, the Incredible Edible Garden in Usk, Mardy Park, Caldicot Community Garden, Crick Woodland, Caerwent Meadows, Crick Meadow, Crucorney Allotments, Garden City Sensory Garden in Chepstow, The Cornfield (Portskewett and Sudbrook) and Rogiet Wildlife Friendly Village.

Cabinet Member for Inclusive and Active Communities, Cllr. Sara Burch said: “I am so pleased that many locations within our beautiful county have received awards this year. It is fantastic to see that our sites at Caldicot Castle and Country Park, Tintern Old Station, Castle Meadows and Bailey Park have been recognised with Green Flag awards.”

Cabinet Member for Climate Change & the Environment, Cllr. Catrin Maby added: “These awards mean so much for the many volunteers and community groups across the county. Their dedication and community spirit help keep so many green spaces in Monmouthshire looking beautiful. On behalf of my colleagues and myself, I would like to express our gratitude for all their hard work.” 

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.