GARDENS in Weymouth and Portland have been recognised as among the best green spaces in the country.
Easton Gardens on Portland and Greenhill Gardens in Weymouth have been awarded Green Flag Status based on how safe, clean, accessible, well-managed and welcoming they are.
Easton Community Group and the Friends of Greenhill Gardens have worked with the borough council to help improve the gardens.
As well as carrying out practical projects, group members have worked to raise thousands of pounds to fund major projects.
Their hard work has paid off as both gardens retained their Green Flag status.
Elsewhere in the borough, the Chiswell Walled Garden and the Chiswell Earthworks – both managed by the Chiswell Community Trust (CCT) – have also scooped awards.
The Trust received a Green Pennant the earthworks and garden.
The pennant award is for the best community-run parks in the country.
Judges considered that both sites stood out and were impressed by the excellent facilities and well-managed green spaces, signs, amenities and dedication of local people.
It is the fifth consecutive year in which the earthworks at West Weares, a land sculpture by John Maine, have received the prestigious environmental award from the charity Keep Britain Tidy, GreenSpace and British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV).
The judges said that it was ‘a unique site’ and well maintained, thanks to a partnership between Chiswell Community Trust and Community Service Unit 19, Wareham.
Now with a second Green Pennant, the walled garden recently featured on ITV's Growing Places with presenter Bob Crampton.
Margaret Somerville from the CCT said: “These awards couldn’t have come at a better time as this is currently GreenSpace’s Love Parks Week when people are being encouraged to enjoy the nation’s beautiful parks and green spaces.”
The Green Flag Award scheme is the national standard for parks and green spaces across England and Wales.
The award recognises the value of green spaces in communities and is held by the best parks and gardens in the UK.
Coun Brendan Webster, brief holder for leisure, tourism and community facilities, welcomed the green flags for Easton and Greenhill gardens.
He said: “The news that two of the council’s gardens have won the Green Flag is very gratifying and results from the inspired work of our staff and the hugely important input from our ‘friends of’ and community groups.
“These places are glorious and free of charge to enjoy all year round but should not be taken for granted.
“I implore people to visit Greenhill and Easton Gardens and experience the quality for themselves and let us know what they think.”