Judging for the Green Flag Awards has been streamlined this year, with the very top-scoring entries exempt from scrutiny.
The move has been made in an attempt to cut down judges' workload and respond to demands from green-space managers entering the scheme.
Parks in the top quartile will not have regular judging, but could be subject to new mystery-shopper-style marking later in the summer, along with any of the other entries.
The new rules were introduced by the Green Flag consortium - GreenSpace, Encams and BTCV - which took over running the scheme this year from the Civic Trust.
GreenSpace chief executive Paul Bramhill told HW it was a popular change with judges and applicants.
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