Green flag parks
The Green Flag Award is the national standard for parks and green spaces in England and Wales. Parks that are awarded the prestigious award are judged to be welcoming, safe and well maintained with the strong involvement of the local community.
The city holds five green flag awards:
Herrington Country Park stands as a testimony to the determination and resilience of a coal mining community which was completely downcast following the loss of its colliery in 1985.
Together with the associated works, it provided jobs for the majority of the community and supported an array of service businesses in turn. The loss was devastating and yet out of that devastation was borne a park
In November 2003, the park won the British Association for Landscape Industries Premier Award, for Landscape Design and Management. It has been the subject of a major BBC documentary celebrating the Queen's Golden Jubilee in terms of the changing English landscape. And, it has been quoted as an example of best practice.
In Sunderland's city centre, Mowbray Park is included on the English Heritage Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.
The park was refurbished and reopened in 2000 with a Heritage Lottery grant.
Attractions include lakeside gardens, play area, bowling green, bandstand, various art commissions and the Winter Gardens - home to an excellent botanical collection enclosed in a 30 metre rotunda.
The park is wheelchair accessible and host's concerts events and educational activities.
The Friends of Mowbray Park provide a community voice and work in partnership with the City Council.
A municipal park of six hectares, situated 3km northeast of the city centre.
Facilities including bowling greens, five-a-side football, tennis, basketball, equipped play areas (tots to teens) and model boat lake.
The landscaped parkland consists of amenity lawns, trees, shrubs, rose and scented garden, flower beds and nature conservation areas with streams, cascades and a pond.
Community events are held during the summer providing entertainment.
Free steam train rides are provided by the Model Engineering Society on the miniature railway.
Opportunities for relaxation, physical exercise, education, community participation are available in a healthy, safe and secure environment.
Barnes Park is situated in the heart of Sunderland. The park was first opened in 1909 covering 14.6 hectares.
Barnes Park was restored as part of a regeneration project funded by the Heritage Lottery Parks for People Fund, Sunderland City Council and CDENT. The £3.6 million project to regenerate Barnes Park commenced October 2009 and took 18 months to complete. Improvements to the park included two new play areas, the creation of a Sensory Garden, new bridges over the stream and lake, specialist disability changing room and toilets, building of a grand staircase and amphitheatre style seating around the refurbished bandstand.
Heritage features within the park included renovation of the gates, railings and bandstand. Replacement gates were built for the main entrance at Durham Road.
Facilities within the park include two bowling greens, a multi-use games area, cafe, toilets and two car parks.
Hetton Lyons Country Park is situated on the outskirts of Hetton-le-Hole and was created on the site of the former Hetton Lyons Colliery.
Work started on the regeneration project in 1986 with the majority of the trees planted in 1993.
The site covers almost 50 hectares and includes a water sports lake, angling lake, wildlife pond, cycle track, car parking, toilets and football pitches.
Sunderland City Council and Springboard Adventure manage the site in partnership. Springboard Adventure run practical conservation courses on site and provide water sports activities for groups and the local community.