Green Flag Awards: Stunning success for Edinburgh parks

Read Keep Scotland Beautiful's press release on Edinburgh parks' success in this year's Green Flag Awards.

Environmental charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful, has announced that a record breaking 73 parks from across Scotland have been presented with a Green Flag Award this year. The awards are in recognition of their high standards and provision of quality outdoor space - with 32 being awarded in Edinburgh. 

A full list of award winners can be found here.

The Green Flag Award, administered in Scotland by Keep Scotland Beautiful, is the benchmark for green space. The 32 Edinburgh parks, run by the City of Edinburgh Council, Heriot Watt University and Friends of Corstorphine Hill, have received the award acknowledging the quality outdoor space that they provide and the wider benefits they deliver for communities - including enabling and encouraging exercise, improving mental well-being and encouraging play for child development. 

All three organisations join other local authorities, universities and community groups who are amongst the 2017 award winners. For the first time, awards were received by Johnston Gardens in Aberdeen, Silver Sands and Hawkcraig Point and Haugh Park in Fife and Dundee Law, Dundee. 

Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Macinnes, said: “I am delighted that Edinburgh is once again leading the way for Green Flags in Scotland, with almost half of the country’s flags awarded to our parks. We’re very proud of the beautiful green spaces here in the Capital, and these awards demonstrate just how valuable they are to the city.

“It is with thanks to the hard work of parks staff and gardeners that we are able to offer the public so many clean and welcoming spaces to relax, play and exercise, but also the dedication  of Friends of Parks groups across Edinburgh, who help make each park a space the community can enjoy.”

Malcolm Deans, Director of Campus services at Heriot-Watt University, said: “Heriot-Watt was very fortunate in inheriting a beautiful parkland setting on which to build its Edinburgh Campus back in the 1960’s, and our Estates teams have worked to maintain that beauty and environmental diversity, while also making the landscape work as the setting for a modern, high-tech university.

“Our students, staff and many visitors have appreciated this over the years and now, with our sixth Green Flag award, it’s good to see that the landscape of our Edinburgh Campus is continuing to receive wider recognition.”

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented: “I would like to congratulate the City of Edinburgh Council, Heriot Watt University and Friends of Corstorphine Hill for receiving this prestigious benchmark this year. It is pleasing to see their continued success and 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 Awards have gained the support of NHS Health Scotland and greenspace scotland - for helping to support quality outdoor environments and facilitate the wider health benefits. Full comments can be accessed here.  

All parks are assessed by volunteer judges with a background in parks management, conservation or ecology. Applicants are judged against demanding criteria which include assessing whether the park or green space is welcoming and well-maintained. 

To be considered for the awards, the park managing authority must apply. Further information on how to see your local park involved in the Green Flag Awards can be found at: www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/parks 

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