73 Scottish parks presented with Green Flag Award

A record 73 parks have been presented with a 'prestigious' Green Flag Award in recognition of their high standards and quality.

Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow was among the 73 award winners. Picture: Contributed
Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow was among the 73 award winners. Picture: Contributed

Three more parks than last year have received the award, which is administered by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful.

The award recognises that well maintained parks build healthy and stable communities and bring health benefits such as encouraging exercise, improving mental wellbeing and inspiring children to play.

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First time awards went to Johnston Gardens in Aberdeen, Silver Sands & Hawkcraig Point in Fife, Haugh Park in Fife and Dundee Law.

Edinburgh has the highest number of Green Flags with 30 parks achieving the honour, including Princes Street Gardens, Corstorphine Hill and Portobello Community Garden.

Seven parks in Glasgow received the award, including Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow Botanic Gardens and Pollok Country Park.

Derek Robertson, chief executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “I would like to congratulate all 73 parks from across Scotland for achieving this prestigious benchmark. It is pleasing to see the number of Green Flag Awards in Scotland increasing year on year.

“Good quality green open spaces are vital to the health and wellbeing of local communities, families and individuals. Parks and open spaces are a fantastic asset - they are free to use and provide opportunities to exercise and socialise.

“With more Scottish parks flying the Green Flag Award than ever before, this record breaking number is a testament to the determination of park managers, local authorities and volunteers - whose hard work in turn brings about a raft of wider impacts on the community as a whole.”

The winning parks are run by local authorities, universities and community groups.

Matt Lowther, head of place and equity at NHS Health Scotland, said: “It is important that the places and spaces in which we live, work and play are designed to promote good health and reduce health inequalities. Having access to good quality green space is an essential part of this.

“It means people are more likely to be physically active and socially connected. In many cases, the health-promoting effect is even greater for those on lower incomes. Good quality parks can help to reduce health inequalities and so if we want a fairer, healthier Scotland, we need good quality parks.

“Evidence shows that if people think a park is well maintained and easy to reach, they will use it. A good park is all of these things and the Green Flag Award recognises that. That is why, as the national health board responsible for improving health and reducing health inequalities, we are delighted that more parks than ever before in Scotland are achieving Green Flag status.

“We look forward to working with Keep Scotland Beautiful and others to help more and more parks in Scotland win the award too”.