It’s Green Flag time in the Midlands! A total of 6 of the best Parks in the Midlands have won coveted Green Flag Award status for 2022/2023 in the latest accolades from the International Green Flag programme.
The Midlands Parks included in this year’s Awards are
– The Mall, Longford
– Dún Na Sí Moate
– Mullingar Town Park, Mullingar
– Lloyd Town Park Tullamore,
– Páirc an Phobail, Portlaoise
– People’s Park, Portarlington
The Green Flag programme is widely recognised as the international standard in Green Spaces, with over 2,500 parks and green spaces across the globe achieving the award this year. The goal of the programme is about Creating Amazing Spaces.
Let’s look at the Big 6 in the Midlands:
The Mall, Longford
Also known as the Albert Reynolds Peace Park, it is a riverside park situated close to the centre of Longford Town. Within the Mall there are fifteen and seven-aside floodlit astro-turf pitches. The County Swimming Pool and Sports Complex are also located in the centre of the park. There are two playgrounds and an adventure trail. The park contains a 2km perimeter path suitable for jogging or walking much of which is adjacent to the scenic Camlin River a tributary of the Shannon. The park host many community and sporting activities. There is ample car parking along with picnic tables with a view of the beautifully restored St Mel’s Cathedral.
Mullingar Town Park, Mullingar
Located along the banks of the River Brosna in the centre of Mullingar, it is located in close proximity to the Swimming Pool, Tennis Club, Community College, hotels, shops, cafés and residential areas. The Town Park is indeed a haven of tranquillity where one can come in from the busy town and relax and enjoy water features, landscape features, play areas etc.
There are walkways through the landscaped green areas and along the River Brosna including a bridge over the river-fed Pond, together with high quality cobbled plazas, cast iron street furniture & seating, high quality public lighting, CCTV, artistic installation, skate park and three separate play areas with sturdy robust playground.
Dún na Sí, Moate
Dún na Sí is a beautiful parkland amenity and an inspiring community-based, volunteer-led initiative located at the very heart of Ireland in the countryside of Moate in County Westmeath. While preserving natural biodiversity for the future, Dún na Sí celebrates Ireland’s millennia-old rural heritage. Embark on an immersive journey through the history of farming in Ireland as you travel back in time in the Heritage Park to experience recreations of rural life. Follow the Heritage Trail through the stone monuments of prehistoric farmers, to the medieval ringfort farmstead, up to the farmhouse, fisherman’s cottage, and blacksmith’s forge of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Encounter traditional farm animals and experience the celebration of Irish culture in the Teach Ceoil (Music House), where your visit ends in a traditional céilí dancehall. Complete your experience by embracing nature and the great outdoors in the 20-acre Amenity Park with picnic and playground facilities, endless biodiverse tracks, sensory garden, outdoor sculpture trail, turlough (disappearing lake), and a chance to observe the local wildlife through the bird hide and nature reserve.
Lloyd Town Park, Tullamore
Lloyd Town Park in Tullamore achieve a Green Flag Award annually, the benchmark national standard for publicly accessible parks and green spaces. The Park is situated in the heart of Tullamore town, close to schools, shops, cafes, restaurants and hotels. Amenities in the Park include a spectacular water feature, a variety of paths, a popular playground area for children with numerous elements, a basketball court, an outdoor gym, a skate park and plenty of lush green areas, and also encompasses a historic cemetery, Kilcruttin Cemetery. It’s an ideal location for a stroll or a picnic on a sunny day, featuring open space mixed with shaded areas from the many mature specimen trees throughout. The Park is bordered by the River Clodiagh to the north, and the historic Tullamore Courthouse to the south.
The People’s Park, Portarlington
The People’s Park, Portarlington is situated on the banks of the River Barrow. The park is designed predominantly for passive recreation with pathways, trees and grass. Seating is provided throughout. Additional features include a 9 Hole Disc Golf course, tree trail and orienteering course. The People’s Park is linked with the adjoining Portarlington Leisure Centre; with all-weather soccer pitches and a mini basketball court making this an active recreation facility which caters for diverse activities, age groups and abilities. The playground is nestled in the centre of the park with areas for children of all ages, with new Sensory Play equipment recently added.. Situated further into the park is the tomb effigy of Robert Heartpole and is considered by the locals as a main feature within the park.
Páirc an Phobail, Portlaoise
Páirc an Phobail is located on the Timahoe Road in Portlaoise. The Park has been at the heart of Portlaoise town for many years, and a Rejuvenation Project opened in 2015 which brought a range of new attractions and facilities for people of all ages to enjoy.
Some of the main amenities in the Park are a children’s playground, an outdoor gym, a woodland walk containing a bilingual Tree Trail, an Orienteering Trail and over 1km of fully accessible tarred pathways making it a very attractive location for walkers and joggers alike. Páirc an Phobail also contains a small Lake which hosts a wealth of wildlife. The Park provides an excellent location for nature trails and also gives schools and families the opportunity to observe local wildlife in a beautiful setting. The Park has successfully achieved a Green Flag Award in 2016 on its first year of entry, and continues to keep the park to Green Flag Standards.