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. The awards, given out 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. This year sees the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal included for the first time, while three of the county’s locations are celebrating repeated success: Tintern Old Station (award winners since 2009), Caldicot Castle Country Park (since 2013) and Castle Meadows Abergavenny (since 2014).

Goytre Wharf on the award-winning Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal

The Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal is a well-deserved first time recipient of the award. It runs through the Brecon Beacons National Park, meandering from 35 miles from Brecon to the Pontymoile Basin in South Wales. This quiet waterway, with very few locks is popular with boating beginners and offers incredible mountain views and some of the darkest night skies in Britain.

Caldicot Castle

Monmouthshire’s parks are also very popular with residents and visitors and have attracted a number of awards in recent years. Tintern’s Old Station is a popular attraction, situated in a scenic wooded area next to the River Wye it’s described as a hidden gem. Caldicot’s magnificent medieval castle is set in fifty-five acres of beautiful country park offering an ideal setting for picnics and walks against the background of the castle walls, with picnic tables and barbeques.

Castle Meadows, Abergavenny

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

Eight other locations across the county have received special recognition with a Community Award: Bailey Park in Abergavenny, Crick Woodland, Crick Meadow, Crucorney , Goytre Community Garden, Laurie Jones Community Orchard in Abergavenny, The Cornfield in Portskewett, and Mardy Park in Abergavenny.

County Councillor Richard John, Cabinet Member for Countryside said: “I am so pleased that the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal has received a Green Flag Award this year. It’s a stunning part of our industrial heritage and one of the county’s many beauty spots.”

“It’s also heart-warming to see the hard work and commitment of the many volunteers and community groups that look after these wonderful green spaces receiving the recognition that they deserve. On behalf of my colleagues and myself, I would like to express our deepest thanks for the valuable work that they’ve done,” added Councillor John.

County Councillor Paul Jordan, Cabinet member with responsibility for Attractions said: “It’s been a difficult year for so many due to the pandemic and our open spaces have been arguably more important for residents than ever. It’s wonderful that our attractions have yet again been awarded the Green Flag Award. The Old Station, Caldicot Castle with its country park and are among the venues that people love to visit. I am particularly pleased that the awards recognise the outstanding dedication and role of the volunteers at each site.”

Tintern Old Station

224 parks and green spaces across the country have received the prestigious Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award – from country parks and formal gardens, to allotments, woodlands and churchyards.

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.

Lucy Prisk, Green Flag Coordinator at Keep Wales Tidy said: “The pandemic has shown just how important high-quality parks and green spaces are to our communities. For many of us, they have been a haven on our doorstep, benefitting our health and well-being.

“The 224 flags flying this year are a testament to the hard work of staff and volunteers who have maintained excellent standards under the most challenging circumstances. I’d like to congratulate and thank them all for their outstanding commitment.”

A full list of award winners can be found on the Keep Wales Tidy website www.keepwalestidy.cymru

For more information on the many attractions and places to visit in Monmouthshire take a look at: Visit Monmouthshire https://www.visitmonmouthshire.com/