VICTORIA Square in Penarth has been awarded a Green Flag Community Award.

Keep Wales Tidy has unveiled this year’s Green Flag Award winners – the international mark of a quality park or green space – recognising the efforts of volunteers to improve the area and increase biodiversity.

The Green Glag Awward has been presented to Friends of Victoria Square, which is a community group established in 2018 to maintain and enhance this treasured open space in central Penarth.

Working closely with their partners - Vale of Glamorgan Council, All Saints Church and Penarth Civic Society - the group has attracted funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Welsh Government Community Woodland Scheme to maintain and plant trees, develop a community garden, and improve biodiversity with wildflower planting, creation of a bog garden and several hibernacula (winter homes for hibernation).

Penarth Times: The community garden at Victoria Square in Penarth

Chair of the Friends of Victoria Square Group, Haydn Mayo, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive the award which is very much in recognition of the great work done by all of our volunteers but also for our plans and our engagement with the wider community.”

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
  • Community involvement

Julie James, the Welsh Government’s Minister for Climate Change, said: “Green spaces are vital for mental and physical well-being and throughout the pandemic we have seen how important these spaces have been for local communities.

“Wales still holds more than a third of the UK’s Green Flag community sites and it is fantastic to see more places in Wales receiving Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award.

“These landscapes play a vital role in delivering rich ecosystems and vibrant and resilient communities, and I congratulate all of the sites for providing excellent, year round facilities and events for people in Wales.”

Penarth Times: Victoria Square in Penarth

Lucy Prisk, Green Flag Coordinator at Keep Wales Tidy, added: “The pandemic showed us just how important high-quality parks and green spaces are to our communities.

“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