Celebrate Groundsweek: 1st – 7th March
This week (1-7 March) is #Groundsweek – the first-ever celebratory week highlighting the vital role of grounds staff, volunteers, and the role that the broader turf-care sector plays in making sport possible and keeping green spaces accessible.
In Ards and North Down, the Council’s staff have continued to carry out their amazing work through challenging conditions. This past year has also highlighted the value of our parks and green spaces to the public’s health, with increased use for ‘daily exercise’ and physical activity.
Our Parks teams care for some key areas in the Borough…areas that are used by many people on a regular basis:
Ards and North Down Borough boasts a wide range of sports facilities and our teams maintain 37 tennis courts, 35 grass pitches, 8 synthetic surfaces, 2 pitch and putt, and an athletics track. These facilities compliment a raft of hardworking local sports clubs and schools, who develop and maintain their own pitches. A lot of hard work from the teams goes into keeping the surfaces in a playable condition. This has continued during the last year so they are ready when needed again.
If there is one area of our grounds maintenance that needs constant attention it is the bowling green. A complex regime of mowing, draining and lawn treatments are needed to keep the surface playing well. The council maintain six greens stretching from Holywood to Cloughey, which support the local privately maintained greens.
Parks and Open Spaces
While sports pitches may have seen a reduction in use, our parks and open spaces have been busier than usual. The Council manages over 290 hectares of open spaces throughout the Borough. Five of our facilities have received the Green Flag award - Castle Park, Londonderry Park, Kiltonga Nature Reserve, Linear Park and Ballymenoch Park.
The Green Flag Award is an international certification which recognises parks and open spaces with excellence levels of maintenance, facilities and community involvement. The teams have been working hard to keep pathways clear, litter lifted and grass mown, while caring for our plants and trees.
The Walled Garden
Designed in the 1840s by the Ward family, Bangor Castle Walled Garden is often considered by residents to be the jewel in the crown of the Parks service. Reopened to visitors in 2009, the garden is divided into four different sections, each with its own horticultural personality.
It also boasts two unique pieces of sculpture inspired by the Borough's maritime history. The team of skilled gardeners showcase a range of shrubs and plants, as well a variety of nutritious fruits and vegetables. The beautiful floral displays, tranquil atmosphere and delicious coffee shop, make the walled garden a must see!
Thanks to grounds maintenance staff and volunteers everywhere for carrying out their vital roles. They ensure that everyone - from professional athletes to local communities - can keep active!