A POPULAR seafront park in South Tyneside has been named as one of the best in the country.
South Marine Park, South Shields, is one of 65 parks across the North East that has been give a Green Flag award by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.
The area underwent a multi-million pound revamp in 2008 to restore the Victorian park back to its former glory.
Work included the original Victorian bandstand being reconstructed, a station built for the lakeshore railroad, restored terracing and balustrades, a new children’s play area, the boating lake cleaned out and refreshment and toilet facilities.
The announcement of the win coincides with this year’s Love Parks Week, which encourages people to visit and enjoy parks around the country.
Joan Eggleston, Secretary of the Friends of North and South Marine Parks, said: “We are delighted that South Marine Park has secured this award for the sixth year running.
“The park is a wonderful attraction on South Shields seafront and our group is always looking at how it can be improved further.
“We look forward to supporting the council on this so that we can get the very best from the park for future generations to enjoy.”
The park, which first opened in 1890, has been recognised with the accolade in the past.
Coun Tracey Dixon, lead member for area management and community safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “South Marine Park is a real jewel in South Tyneside’s crown, and we are thrilled that once again it been given national recognition with a prestigious Green Flag Award.
“The park is one of our best assets and has been a favourite place for families to visit and relax in for many generations.”
The Green Flag Award standard – the mark of a quality green space – is judged every year by a small army of 700 volunteer judges, who visit applicant sites and assess them against eight separate criteria, including cleanliness, sustainability and conservation.
Welcoming the news, councillor for Beacon and Bents John Anglin said: “This is fantastic news. The Friends of North and South Marine Park have worked extremely hard alongside the council to make this park what it is today, so to have the work recognised is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved.”
Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “It’s another record-breaking year for the scheme.
“This is something well worth celebrating and testament to the efforts of the thousands of men and women, supported by some amazing volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.
“The parks sector is facing some tough challenges so it is heartening to see that they are committed to maintaining and improving standards.”