Edge Hill University’s beautiful campus has retained a prestigious Green Flag award for the fifth year running.

The University is one of a record-breaking 1,686 parks and green spaces to receive the coveted status for 2016/17 from environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.

Green Flag Awards recognise and reward the best parks and green spaces across the country. 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.

The award recognises the University’s huge efforts in minimising the environmental impact of its activities, maintaining natural habitats through its commitment to biodiversity, and developing a sustainable campus for the enjoyment of students, staff and the local community. The campus encompasses a variety of diverse landscapes including wetlands, woodlands, meadows, gardens and more.

This year has also seen Edge Hill participate in the National Garden Scheme which raises much needed funds for health charities around the UK.

“The campus has been awarded the Green Flag award for the fifth successive year, due to the dedication and hard work of the grounds staff,” said Grounds Manager Neil Toner. “This award is a national standard for parks and green spaces in the UK, and is based upon eight key requirements including sustainability, community involvement, conservation and heritage, and whether the campus is healthy, safe and secure. This year saw Edge Hill’s campus achieve the highest graded score of 80+.”

The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by Keep Britain Tidy, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. In total, 1,686 parks, cemeteries, universities, shopping centres and community gardens have met the high standard needed to receive the Green Flag Award or Green Flag Community Award, the quality marks for parks and green spaces.

The Green Flag Awards are judged by an army of more than 700 green space experts, who volunteer their time to visit applicant sites and assess them against eight strict criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement.

Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said:

“We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme, especially as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Awards.

“All the flags flying this year are a testament to the efforts of the thousands of men and women, both staff and volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”