It’s official; Manchester has more parks to be proud of than anywhere else in the country.
30 of Manchester's parks and green spaces have been named among the best in England and Wales, picking up coveted green flag awards, the national standard and highest accolade to be granted in this area.
Not only this, but for the first time ever, Manchester has picked up an award for a cemetery, with Gorton Cemetery being granted green flag status - one of only 18 in the UK.
After picking up 27 green flags in 2008, this year has seen Manchester pick up 30 for its parks and green spaces, which are a combination of Victorian parks, city centre gardens, nature reserves and cemeteries and have been awarded more flags than any other local authority for the fourth year in a row.
Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure at Manchester City Council said: "It's wonderful to see Manchester leading the way yet again and it's a tremendous credit to the park staff, friends groups and community volunteers who work so hard on maintaining our city's parks to such a high standard. Manchester parks and green spaces are a real source of pride in the city and are here for all to enjoy."
He added: "This is the first time we have ever achieved a Green Flag Award for one of our cemeteries and it is a true reflection of the work carried out by the council and also the friends group, who have been a driving force in helping Gorton Cemetery achieve this status."
Criteria for the Green Flag awards, which are managed by environmental charity, Keep Britain Tidy, include the parks must be welcoming, safe and well-maintained with a strong involvement from the local community.
Winners in Manchester are:
Ardwick Green, Baguley Park, Boggart Hole Clough, Broadhurst Park, Chorlton Park, Chorlton Water Park, Clayton Vale, Cringle Fields Park (also known as Erwood Road Park), Crowcroft Park, Crumpsall Park, Culmere Park, Debdale Park, Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens, Gaskell Street Park, Gorton Cemetery, Heaton Park, Ladybarn Park, Manley Park, Northenden Riverside Park, Old Moat Park, Openshaw Park, Painswick Park, Parsonage Gardens, Philip's Park, Platt Fields Park, Sackville Gardens, St John's Gardens, St Michael's Flags, Swinton Grove and Wythenshawe Park.
As part of the awards, Heaton Park was also named as a Green Heritage site winner for the third time.