Green Flag Award

The Green Flag Award is an accreditation given to publicly accessible parks and open spaces, primarily in the United Kingdom, in order to promote standards of good management and best-practice amongst the green space sector. It is described by its issuers, Keep Britain Tidy as an "internationally recognised award that is a benchmark for well-managed green space". As of October 2021, 2227 parks and open spaces currently a Green Flag Award.[1]

Green Flag Award
Greenflag logo.png
Green Flag Award.jpg
Recognition of well managed open spaces.
Standards organizationKeep Britain Tidy
On behalf of MHCLG.
Effective regionWorldwide; primarily United Kingdom.
Effective since1996; 25 years ago (1996)
Product categoryParks, publicly accessible spaces.
Type of standardIndustry

Whilst public parks make up most of the awardees, the Green Flag Award is also issued to sites with different uses including Loughborough University, and Bluewater Shopping Centre for the management of their grounds.[2]


The owners of spaces that wish to hold the accreditation, pay a fee to be assessed by volunteer judges on an annual basis with a process involving secret shoppers and inspection of both the park and the owner's management plans. The aspects that spaces are judged on are:[3]

  1. A Welcoming Place
  2. Healthy, Safe and Secure
  3. Well Maintained and Clean
  4. Environmental Management
  5. Biodiversity, Landscape and Heritage
  6. Community Involvement
  7. Marketing and Communication
  8. Management

A failure to meet the judges' standards can result in the accreditation being withdrawn; one example of this is North London's Finsbury Park which lost its Green Flag in 2018.[4]


The Green Flag Award was introduced in 1996, and first awarded in 1997, by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) with the intention of establishing agreed standards of good management, to help to justify and evaluate funding and to raise park attendance. The scheme was managed by Civic Trust, on MHCLG's behalf, until they lost the contract and the charity went bust in 2009.[5]

The scheme has been managed by Keep Britain Tidy since 2012[6] with sister organisations Keep Scotland Beautiful, Keep Wales Tidy and TIDY Northern Ireland delivering the scheme across the UK, and various other bodies delivering worldwide.

Green Flags on Display in Manor Park, London; Boscombe Chine Gardens, Hampshire; and Baysgarth Park, Lincolnshire.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Raising the Standard of Parks and Green Spaces". Green Flag Award. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  2. ^ Joanna Whitehead (2018). "The UK's Best Green Spaces, From University Campuses to Crematoriums". The Independent.
  3. ^ Green Flag Award (2016). Raising The Standard: The Green Flag Award Guidance Manual (pdf).
  4. ^ Simon Allin (2018). "Finsbury Park stripped of Green Flag award after damning report". Islington Gazette.
  5. ^ Magda Ibrahim (2009). "Civic Trust says loss of Green Flag contributed to collapse". Horticulture Week.
  6. ^ Jez Abbott (2012). "Green Flag Awards entry fees set to rise". Horticulture Week.