On Tuesday 18 July, Keep Wales Tidy unveiled this year’s Green Flag Award winners. Swansea University along with Aberystwyth were the only Welsh universities to be awarded the coveted Green Flag which is the international mark of quality for parks and green spaces, presented to recipients in recognition of their excellent facilities and commitment to managing top quality green spaces.
The Green Flag Award scheme is delivered in Wales by environmental charity, Keep Wales Tidy, with support from Welsh Government. The scheme aims to:
- Ensure that everybody has access to quality green and other open spaces, irrespective of where they live.
- Ensure that those spaces are appropriately managed and meet the needs of the communities that they serve.
- Establish standards of good management.
- Promote and share good practice amongst the green space sector.
- Recognise and reward the hard work of managers, staff and volunteers.
The award is judged by green space experts, who volunteer their time to visit applicant sites and assess them against eight strict criteria: a welcoming place; healthy, safe and secure; well maintained and clean; environmental management; biodiversity; landscape and heritage; community involvement; marketing and communication; and management.
Our Grounds Team works hard to ensure the University estate provides a safe and welcoming environment, not only for learning and research, but also for the local community to benefit from and be a part of. A comprehensive Grounds Management Plan informs the work of our small and committed team of grounds maintenance professionals, led by Grounds Manager Paul Edwards who has over 30 years of experience of helping to manage the University estate.
Paul said: “I am delighted that Swansea University has been presented with this prestigious award. Our dedicated and enthusiastic Grounds Team has worked really hard to ensure that Swansea University’s grounds meet the strict judging criteria for the award.
“We have an ambitious and comprehensive grounds management plan in place which lays out our aims and objectives for the grounds. Environment conservation and enhancement is at the heart of the plan and we work closely with our colleagues in Sustainability to ensure that our grounds are maintained in as environmentally friendly a manner as possible.
“We’re also very committed to community involvement and run all kinds of initiatives throughout the year to enable our staff, students and the community to get involved in the maintenance and development of these spectacular grounds. For instance, we’ve recently worked with local school pupils who have been helping us make woodland habitat piles and every Thursday afternoon we run an Ornamental Gardens volunteer group which gives staff, students and the community the opportunity to help with a variety of restoration projects, from clearing paths through to invasive species removal and stream side restoration.
Lucy Prisk, Green Flag Coordinator at Keep Wales Tidy said:
“The Green Flag Award is all about connecting people with the very best parks and green spaces. Keep Wales Tidy is proud to run the scheme in Wales because we know having a good quality environment can have a big impact on our communities, health and well-being, and economy.
“I’d like to congratulate Swansea University and thank everyone who works tirelessly to maintain the standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. I’d encourage everyone to get outdoors and explore the diverse range of fantastic facilities we have on our doorstep.”
Visit the Grounds Webpages: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/estates-and-facilities-management/ourservices/campusservices/groundsmanagement/
Find out more about the Green Flag Award: www.keepwalestidy.cymru