A country park near Newcastle upon Tyne, which gives views to the North Sea and the Cheviot Hills on clear days, has received the prestigious Green Flag Award.
Weetslade Country Park near Gorsforth has won the award. It takes into consideration criteria such as maintenance, conservation, community involvement as well as open spaces being welcoming, healthy, safe and clean, before each award is given.
Dan Chapman, Northumberland Wildlife Trust Estates Officer, said: “I am delighted that this site has won the Award. If it weren’t for our wonderful volunteer wardens who tirelessly manage the site for us whatever the weather, the Trust’s work on a day to day basis would be so much harder. They really must take all the credit for it.”
Weetslade Country Park is managed by the wildlife charity and its team of volunteers on behalf of the Land Trust. The shallow sloping sides of the hill contain areas of grassland, scrub and woodland. It was developed on the former pit heap of Weetslade Colliery.
At the foot of the slopes, to the west side of the Park, wetlands provide home to many common damselflies and dragonflies. Many birds are present on the site such as grey partridge, meadow pipit and skylark.
The highest point on the site is 95m above sea level and on the top of the hill is a drillhead sculpture, representative of the site’s mining past.
Phil Barton, Green Flag Plus Partnership chairman, said: “I would like to congratulate this year’s winners, who have worked hard throughout the year to keep their parks and green spaces at a high standard and ensure they are pleasant and enjoyable spaces for the whole community.
“The Green Flag Award Scheme, and its growth, is essential in driving up the standards of our parks and green spaces. Access to quality green space is something we all desire and the scheme plays a key role in providing it.
“In these challenging financial times it is heartening that the number of Green Flag Awards continue to grow. As the value of green space and the role it plays in our communities strengthens, we must ensure these high standards remain.”