Middleton Cemetery has a wide variety of trees in its grounds
The Green Flag awards pinpoint the best parks and green spaces in the country and, for the first time in Rochdale, the best cemetery too.
Middleton (Boarshaw) Cemetery is celebrating being one of eight spaces in the town to have achieved the prize.
Cemetery manager Derek Mack admitted it was "a bit unusual" for such a space to receive the honour.
However, he added that "the thing to remember is that Middleton Cemetery is a very, very important green space."
MANCHESTER'S GREEN FLAGS
There have been a total of 96 Green Flags awarded around Greater Manchester in 2010
Manchester: 35 (examples being Heaton Park and Clayton Vale)
Tameside: 12 (Haughton Green, Cheetham Park)
Stockport: Nine (Hallam Coronation Garden, Reddish Vale Country Park)
Rochdale: Eight (Hare Hill Park, Rochdale Memorial Gardens)
Oldham: Seven (Chadderton Hall Park, Brownhill Centre Nature Garden)
Trafford: Six (Victoria Park, Denzell Gardens)
Salford: Four (Blackleach Country Park, Clifton Country Park)
Wigan: Three (Pennington Hall Park, Jubilee Park)
Bolton has no awards
The cemetery joins the likes of Queen's Park in Heywood, Packer Spout Gardens and Littleborough's Hare Hill Park on the list of Rochdale's recipients.
Mr Mack said that the award is exactly what the town council, in conjunction with The Friends of Boarshaw Cemetery (FoBC), were hoping to achieve.
"That was our aim when we came together with the Friends four years ago.
"We devised a five year management plan with Green Flag as the aim by 2012.
"We've exceeded that aim and have it now, so we're very, very pleased."
The cemetery opened in 1912 and has since held around 9000 burials and 26,000 cremations and Mr Mack said that the management of the cemetery was "about looking after those people and providing well-maintained, well-managed facilities."
Dave Nelson from FoBC agreed with the councillor, adding that it had been a victory for the hard work of everyone involved with the space, but was mindful that the work was still ongoing.
"We're halfway through the five year plan and we now need to maintain it on a day-to-day basis, so there's a lot of hard work ahead.
"[But] for the bereaved families, it's a place where they feel safe and secure, it's environmentally friendly, well-maintained and the cemetery staff are quite approachable."
Mr Nelson said that the cemetery was not just for relatives of those buried there though.
"People can come into the cemetery, have a sit-down and we have quite a few species of trees, animals and birds.
"It's quite nice to look at and have a walk round."
A plaque celebrates the life of Lance Corporal Joel Halliwell
The cemetery's most famous grave belongs to local war hero, Lance Corporal Joel Halliwell, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery in the First World War.
L/Cpl Halliwell captured an enemy horse, rode out under heavy fire and rescued ten men during the 1918 Battle of the River Aisne in France.
The Rochdale cemetery is one of six in Greater Manchester to have been given Green Flag status, with the others being at Denton and Dukenfield in Tameside, Philips Park and Gorton in Manchester and Peel Green in Salford.
The Green Flag awards are a national standard for green spaces given by Wigan-based environmental charity, Keep Britain Tidy.