Top green award for Falkirk’s Helix Park

The Helix Park has received the thumbs up – and a Green Flag Award – for being one of the country’s best open spaces.

Picture: Michael Gillne

Environmental charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful, has announced that 71 Scottish parks have been presented with the prestigious award.

It acts as a benchmark for recreational outdoor space. The award celebrates well maintained parks and greenspaces and supports the opportunities that they provide to enable exercise, improve mental wellbeing and provide safe spaces for play. Almost 2,000 parks across the world have achieved the award.

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Amongst the 2019 award winners are spaces run by local authorities, community groups and universities. First time awards have been presented in Aberdeen to Slopefield Allotments, South Ayrshire to Belleisle Park and the Western Isles to the community-managed Eoropie Park.

Derek Robertson, chief executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “I would like to congratulate Helix Park from Falkirk. Receiving this prestigious international benchmark recognises all of the hard work that has gone into maintaining and managing this precious green openspace.

“Every single one of these parks provides an invaluable service to the local communities that it serves - from creating a safe space to play, to think, to exercise - helping to address many of the health and wellbeing challenges we face as a country.”

Spending time in nature can be good for people’s health and wellbeing, and living in a greener neighbourhood can improve health outcomes. The Green Flag Award recognises the valuable contribution these parks make towards the nation’s well-being.

Julie Procter, chief executive of greenspace scotland, said: “We know that greenspace is good for people and communities- it makes our lives and places better. Our goal at greenspace scotland is that everyone enjoys easy access to quality greenspace which meets their needs and improves their quality of life.

“This is why we’re delighted to see so many Scottish parks being presented with a Green Flag award in 2019 and would like to offer a big well done to everyone who works hard on achieving the award for Scotland’s parks”

A detailed map of Scotland’s Green Flag sites can be found at: www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/parks