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Even more Green Flag awards for Merthyr Tydfil

  • Categories : Press Release
  • 15 Jan 2020
Green Flag volunteers

A Council employee and a volunteer at Merthyr Tydfil’s two flagship parks have beaten off competition from across Wales to win prestigious national environmental awards.

Teenager Daniel Lewis was presented with the inaugural Young Volunteer of the Year award and groundsman Paul Haines with the Employee of the Year award by the Keep Wales Tidy Green Flag initiative – making Merthyr Tydfil the winner of two of only five categories in the annual contest.

This is the first year for Keep Wales Tidy to present an award in recognition of young volunteers, with Daniel - who volunteers at both Cyfarthfa Park and Parc Taf Bargoed – the worthy recipient. Best Employee Paul Haines works at Parc Taf Bargoed and has been with the local authority for 36 years.

Green Flag Coordinator Lucy Prisk said: “We can’t underestimate how important high quality parks and green spaces are to our communities, our health and wellbeing, nature and economy. It’s thanks to the commitment and enthusiasm of people like Daniel and Paul that we have so many fantastic facilities available on our doorstep.”

Parc Taf Bargoed and Cyfarthfa Park are themselves the owners of Green Flag awards - the international mark of a quality park or green space presented by Keep Wales Tidy – for the past nine and three years respectively.

Daniel, 15, is a member of both the Friends of Taff Bargoed Park and Friends of Cyfarthfa Park volunteer groups.

As well as helping with practical activities like tree planting, hedge laying and painting park furniture, Daniel has used his IT and photography skills to improve the groups’ websites and social media. He has even managed a night vision camera project, capturing nocturnal wildlife at both parks for everyone to appreciate.

Paul won his award for his contribution in maintaining Parc Taf Bargoed and keeping it clean and safe for Green Flag status. His recent work has included establishing new habitats and supporting an initiative to help tackle dog fouling.

“To receive two awards out of only five categories is quite an achievement,” said County Borough Council Cabinet member for Regeneration and Public Protection Cllr Geraint Thomas.

“We’re very proud of the dedication of our staff and volunteers like Paul and Daniel. They also have an example-setting Parks Team Leader Gerald Lewis, who goes above and beyond his council role to volunteer and contribute to the environment and biodiversity within the borough.”

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