The Wildlife Trusts Parc Slip Nature Reserve & Visitor Centre named as one of the country’s best green spaces!

Keep Wales Tidy has unveiled this year’s Green Flag Award winners – the international mark of a quality park or green space. 

The flag will be flying at Parc Slip Nature Reserve and Visitor Centre in recognition of its excellent visitor facilities, high environmental standards, and commitment to delivering great quality green space.

Parc Slip Nature Reserve is home to a variety of different habitat types such as grassland, woodland and wetlands, all of which is restored from its previous status as an opencast coal mine. It supports many different species, including great crested newts and bee orchids and is a safe area for families to discover and enjoy nature.

Parc Slip has well-maintained traffic-free cycle tracks, including a 4km stretch of Sustrans National Cycle Route 4 for cyclists and over 10km of tracks for dog walking. The Nature Reserve paths and Visitor Centre are accessible for wheelchairs, walking sticks and for those with sight problems. Parc Slip is the perfect reserve to join us for a walk and follow it up with coffee and cake, watching the birds from the comfort of an armchair!

Gina Gavigan, Marketing and Development Manager at The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales said:

We are absolutely delighted to receive our first Keep Wales Tidy Green Flag Award for Parc Slip Nature Reserve and Visitor Centre. This prestigious award is testament to the hard work of our Wildlife Trust Parc Slip team and our dedicated volunteers who have exceeded excellent standards under the most challenging circumstances; particularly over the past 18 months.

"Parc Slip plays a key role in helping local residents and visitors stay healthy, active and to connect with nature. The reserve has a fantastic mix of habitats and is home to over 1,000 species of incredible wildlife.

"Over the past two years we have been busy developing and delivering lots of exciting improvement works to the nature reserve and visitor centre as part of the Valleys Regional Park (VRP) project so receiving the Green Flag accreditation really is the cherry on top of the cake!”

Green Flag Wales

248 parks and green spaces across the country have received the prestigious Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award – from country parks and formal gardens, to allotments, woodlands and churchyards.

The Green Flag Award programme is delivered in Wales by environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy, with support from Welsh Government. Independent green space experts volunteered their time in early autumn to judge applicant sites against eight strict criteria, including biodiversity, cleanliness, environmental management, and community involvement.

Julie James, the Welsh Government’s Minister for Climate Change, said:

“Green spaces are vital for mental and physical well-being and throughout the pandemic we have seen how important these spaces have been for local communities.  

“Wales still holds more than a third of the UK’s Green Flag community sites and it is fantastic to see more places in Wales receiving Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award.  

“These landscapes play a vital role in delivering rich ecosystems and vibrant and resilient communities, and I congratulate all of the sites for providing excellent, year-round facilities and events for people in Wales.”

Lucy Prisk, Green Flag Coordinator at Keep Wales Tidy said:

“The pandemic showed us just how important high-quality parks and green spaces are to our communities. With more visitors than ever enjoying our green spaces, I’d like to congratulate the hard work of staff and volunteers who have maintained excellent standards at these sites.”

A full list of award winners can be found on the Keep Wales Tidy website

The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales' Parc Slip Nature Reserve and Visitor Centre was designated as one of the 11 #DiscoveryGateway's by the Welsh Government in 2019, as part of the #ValleysRegionalPark initiative. As a #DiscoverGateway, Parc Slip received funding towards a range of projects including improvements to the reserve and visitor centre, benefitting both people and wildlife.