DOZENS of parks in Hampshire have been named among the best in the country.

The parks have been awarded the Green Flag Award, which recognises the best quality green spaces in the UK.

Hinkler Green, Riverside Park, St. James Park and Central Parks in Southampton have all been given a Green Flag Award.

Romsey War Memorial Park, Valley Park Woodlands Local Nature Reserve in Chandlers Ford and Rooksbury Mill Local Nature Reserve in Andover have also scooped the prestigious award.

The parks are among 1,686 parks and green spaces that received a prestigious Green Flag Award this week.

The award, now celebrating its 20th year, recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country. 

A Green Flag flying over a park is a sign to the public that the space has the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.

The awards also show all the hard work the staff, volunteers and Friends groups who are involved with maintaining the parks.

Councillor Jacqui Rayment, Southampton cabinet member for environment and transport said: "It’s always a pleasure to receive so many Green Flag Awards from Keep Britain Tidy. 

"We have been achieving this status for 10 years now, reflecting the continued pride and hard work our teams and volunteers put into our open spaces. The four awards reflect the fact that residents and visitors can enjoy green spaces of the very highest quality in Southampton."

Councillor Tony Ward, Test Valley cabinet member for community and leisure, said: “We are delighted that our parks have received the Green Flag Award again. 

"The award is testament to the hard work that goes into the upkeep of the areas. I’m really pleased that residents and visitors can enjoy such fantastic green spaces in Test Valley."