Ballyclare cemetery has successfully retained ‘green flag status’ for the management and maintenance of the site alaongside eleven other parks and green spaces within the Borough to be recognised.
Pupils of Fairview Primary School had the privilege of joining the Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor John Scott to officially raise the flag at the cemetery last week.
Awarded by Environmental Charity, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, in association with Heyn Environmental Solutions, the Green Flag Award is recognised throughout the world and sets an international benchmark standard for the management of parks and green spaces. A Green Flag flying overhead is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.
This is the second year that Ballyclare Cemetery has been awarded the Green Flag and signifies the importance of heritage sites, such as a cemetery, for the local community.
To celebrate the raising of the flag, the pupils of Fairview Primary took part in a programme entitled ‘The Secret Life of Graveyards’, showcasing the areas of the cemetery which have been created for wildlife, wildflowers and native trees.
This change in management creates an ideal habitat for invertebrates as the pupils demonstrated during their project when they found a huge variety of insects including spiders, slugs, snails and centipedes.
The provision for these creatures in our open spaces provides a food source for both mammals and birds – a true haven for wildlife.
The Green Flag Awards are judged every year by green space experts, who volunteer their time to visit applicant sites and assess them against eight strict criteria.
These include horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement.