The number of Dublin parks hailed as exceptional green spaces has doubled over the past year with 11 of the capital's parks winning the prestigious Green Flag Awards this year.
The coveted awards from An Taisce are given to those parks that achieve eight standards - including being safe, clean, and welcoming while operating best environmental practices.
Despite the Covid-19 restrictions imposed earlier this year, the parks run by Dublin City Council have not only remained open, but they have proven to be a vital oasis for people.
The open spaces have allowed people get out, socialise and breathe in some fresh air in a safe manner during the pandemic, says Dublin Lord Mayor Hazel Chu.
"With the coronavirus lockdown and restricted travel over the summer, Dubliners are aware more than ever of the value of parks and green spaces for exercise and relaxation, as safe places to meet friends and to connect with their local community. It's a remarkable achievement to win 11 awards this year, despite being in the middle of a global pandemic.
"I would like to thank all the parks staff and the local community for their hard work."
St Anne's Park in Raheny not only won the Green Flag award again this year but was also highly commended for its efforts in encouraging pollination through the Pollinator Project Award.
"We are thrilled to hear that St Anne's has once again won a Green Flag award. Last year, it was also voted in the top-five parks in the world in the Green Flag Peoples Choice awards," park enthusiast Georgina Moore from Raheny said.
Since Covid restrictions came in, St Anne's gets busier every day and continues to be a very important resource for people.
"The city council do a fantastic job in St Anne's and all credit due is to them, and the recently retired Mick Harford," Ms Moore added.
Some of the other popular city parks awarded Green Flag status include Bushy Park in Terenure, Poppintree Park, Blessington Street Park and Herbert Park in Ballsbridge.