Minister Noonan congratulates three NPWS sites on receiving prestigious Green Flag Award
The Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, welcomes the news that three sites under the remit of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) — Connemara National Park, Killarney House and Gardens, and Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park — have received the Green Flag Award.
Minister Noonan congratulated the NPWS staff on the outstanding achievement, which was made possible by their hard work throughout the year. The Minister observed that “this year, the three sites have not only received the Green Flag but successfully retained it, which adds to the significance of the occasion”.
A Green Flag is the mark of a quality park or green space and is recognised throughout the world. Green Flag status ensures delivery of quality green spaces, best practice management, plans for improvements and future works and the implementation of environmental sustainability within park management.
Minister Noonan commended the recent, ongoing and prospective work at the three sites, which has made it possible to receive and retain the prestigious Green Flag Award: “I am delighted to see that despite the challenges we are all experiencing due to Covid-19, the NPWS continues to plan and carry out improvement works across its properties, ensuring sustainable facility development combined with best nature conservation practices.”
Connemara National Park is currently undergoing major development, which will result in a new car park and additional looped walks on the Mweelin/Kylemore side of the Park, to name just a few of the planned improvements. Funding under the Rural Regeneration Development Fund Scheme, as well as the Strategic Partnership with Fáilte Ireland, will allow to explore avenues for improvement in the Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park. The newly refurbished Killarney House and Gardens continue to serve as a gateway to Killarney National Park, and in these challenging times, play an important role in the well-being of visitors from all over the country.
Minister Noonan concluded: “The Green Flag Award reminds us all of the outstanding value of outdoor spaces in this country. I hope that the excellent news that I was privileged to share with you today, will encourage more people to visit our National Parks and other places of natural beauty, which have become more important than ever in these unprecedented times.”