THE Vale council has emerged as one of the best performing authorities in Wales – for its park standards as highlighted in the Green Flag Awards.

Judging body Keep Wales Tidy has given 10 sites maintained by the council Green Flag status, the mark of a top-quality outdoor space.

Of the 22 councils in Wales, including city authorities Swansea and Newport, only the much larger Cardiff has managed more than that total.

Romilly Park, Barry Island Seafront and Friars Point, Central Park, The Knap Gardens, Victoria Park, Gladstone Park, Porthkerry Country Park, in Barry, and Cosmeston Country Park, Alexandra Park and Windsor Gardens, Belle Vue Park, Penarth, all received the accolade.

Elsewhere, the Barry Town Council-maintained Merthyr Dyfan Cemetery also gained a Green Flag, while 13 sites received community awards.

These include Goldsland Farm, Lanlay Orchard, Barry Community Garden, Birchgrove Woodlands, Little Hill Brock Street, Nightingale Garden, Wenvoe Wild Orchard, Cwm Talwg Local Nature Reserve,

Elizabethan Orchard, Old Hall Gardens, Upper Orchard Field Wenvoe, Wenvoe Community Orchard, Welsh Orchard Wenvoe.

Vale council cabinet member for neighbourhood services and transport, Cllr Peter King said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the Vale has once again excelled to gain so many Green-Flag parks.

“Given our resources compared to other authorities, this is a truly remarkable achievement and testament to the hard work put in by our parks staff.

“It is their commitment that keeps our green spaces looking fantastic all year around.

“I would like to add special thanks and congratulations to the volunteer and community groups who have also been recognised for their dedication and ongoing hard work.

“The standard required to achieve Green Flag status is extremely high and a great deal of effort is put in behind the scenes to ensure residents have so many fantastic outdoor areas to enjoy in the Vale.”