AN AWARDS ceremony celebrating the Vale council’s recent Green Flag success was held at Barry Island this week.

Staff enabled the authority to emerge as one of the best performing counties in Wales in the annual Green Flag awards – coming second in a field of 22.

Judging body Keep Wales Tidy gave seven sites maintained by the Vale council Green Flag status, the mark of a top-quality outdoor space.

Romilly Park, Central Park, Victoria Park, The Knap Gardens, Barry Island Promenade and Gardens, Belle Vue Park and Alexandra Park/Windsor Gardens all gained the accolade, along with The Kymin in Penarth and Barry’s Merthyr Dyfan Cemetery, while nine community sites also received Green Flags.

These included Barry Community Garden, Birchgrove Woodlands, Cowbridge Physic Garden, Cwm Talwg Local Nature Reserve, the Elizabethan Orchard, Old Hall Gardens, Upper Orchard Field, Wenvoe, Wenvoe Community Orchard and the Welsh Orchard in Wenvoe.

The volunteers that maintain those sites were rewarded with certificates, while county workers that help look after parks also received recognition.

Judging takes place in April and May with winners are announced in July.

Parks are judged on eight criteria, including cleanliness, safety, standard of maintenance, community involvement, sustainability, management, conservation and heritage.