A record breaking number of public parks, gardens and green spaces across Europe have been awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award.

29 winners from eight countries have just been announced, including; Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Turkey.

Istanbul has achieved two awards; Yildiz Park, the former palace grounds, and Goztepe 60th Year Park, the much loved neighbourhood greenspace.

Prof. Dr. Yasin Cagatay Seckin - Head of Department of Parks, Gardens and Green Areas in Istanbul said:

“Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality is thrilled to achieve the Green Flag Award for the very first time. It gives us the endorsement that we are managing our parks and green spaces to an international standard. And our department, as 'Green Istanbul', is determined to protect and increase the value of our green spaces in the future for our residents.”

The Green Flag Award is managed internationally by Keep Britain Tidy and a network of partners who deliver the program nationally.

2021 marks the 25th anniversary of the Award. Originating in England in 1996 – winners now fly Green Flag Award flags over more than 2,000 parks and green spaces in 16 countries around the world. A full list of the winners and a global map can be found on the homepage of the Green Flag Award 

Carl McClean - International Development Manager for the Green Flag Award said:

“Well done to everyone who has achieved a Green Flag Award this year. It’s testament to the hard work of the staff, management and volunteers who kept parks and green spaces going through challenging times and made them such important places every year – and especially so through the coronavirus pandemic.”

Keep Britain Tidy images from top: Istanbul celebrates; Judging in Goztepe Istanbul; Staff and volunteers Maximapark Utrecht (below left); Jardin des Plants, Nantes (below right)