AVON Heath Country Park near Ringwood has been recognised with the Green Flag award.

Durlston Country Park in Swanage, Thorncombe Woods near Dorchester, and the Milldown and Stour Meadows in Blandford were also recognised by the award scheme.

Councillor Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for highways, travel and environment, said: “This year particularly we have been reminded how important our green spaces are for health and wellbeing, when other activities have been curtailed. We are incredibly fortunate to have such high-quality greenspaces to visit. Well done to all the employees who helped achieve these high standards.”

The Green Flag award scheme is managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, recognises well-managed parks and green spaces.Commenting on Dorset’s success,

Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “This year, more than ever, our parks and green spaces have been a lifeline and we know that millions of people have used them to relax, meet friends, exercise or simply escape for a short time.It is testament to the incredible dedication and hard work of Dorset parks staff and volunteers that, despite the challenges of this year, Dorset’s parks have achieved the highest international standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”