Portsmouth parks named some of the best in the world
Three Portsmouth parks have been named some of the best in the world.
Baffins Pond, Milton Park and Southsea Rock Gardens have all received a prestigious Green Flag award.
The awards recognise well-managed parks and green spaces with winners praised for their maintenance, environmental standards and visitor facilities.
Winners set the benchmark standard for the management of recreational outdoor spaces in the UK and around the world.
Outside of Portsmouth, both Queen Elizabeth Country Park, near Petersfield - which is the county's largest park - and Staunton Country Park, near Havant, also collected the awards.
Councillor Linda Symes, Portsmouth City Council's cabinet member for culture said: 'I am delighted that three of our parks have achieved Green Flag awards and hopefully we will be able to add more to that in the coming years.'
The awards - which are in their third decade - come during Love Parks Week, which encourages people around the country to celebrate the reasons they love their parks.
As part of the city's celebrations for the week, the council's parks team are visiting parks across Portsmouth asking residents why they love their park and taking photos to share on social media.
Cllr Symes added: 'Love Parks Week is a great initiative to raise awareness of the fantastic facilities we offer across the city, but I know that people in Portsmouth love their parks all year around.
'We've got big open fields, smaller garden areas across the city and much-loved animals in Victoria Park and College Park. It is that variety that people enjoy and encourages families to get outside and be active, and that is what we want to continue to build on.'
The city's parks have seen a number of new additions recently with new aviaries, birds and goats introduced to College Park, a new feature entrance to Victoria Park alongside the Catherine House development and the building of the new Cafe in the Park to replace the old Arts Lodge in the same park.
Councillor Andrew Gibson, Hampshire County Council's executive member for culture said: 'We are delighted that our popular county parks have once again been recognised as world class open spaces for residents to enjoy. Green Flag awards are hard earned and are only given to the best green spaces across the globe.
'Our staff, volunteers and partners are rightly proud of this excellent achievement.'