THE Capital continues to have the lion’s share of Scotland’s top-rated parks, with 32 in the city receiving Green Flag awards this year.
The Edinburgh parks – run by the city council, Heriot Watt University and Friends of Corstorphine Hill – were presented with Green Flags from Keep Scotland Beautiful in recognition of the quality outdoor space that they provide and the wider benefits they deliver for residents.
Across Scotland, a record-breaking 73 parks made the grade.
To secure a flag, staff must ensure their green space is accessible and properly signposted, and that litter, vandalism and dog fouling are kept under control. Facilities such as toilets, drinking water and public telephones should also be available in or near the park.
The awards have become a recognised benchmark for quality green spaces.
Councillor Lesley Macinnes, environment leader, 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.”
The awards have gained the support of the NHS and Greenspace Scotland for improving the outdoor environment and helping people live more healthily.
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 1960s, and our estates teams has 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, added: “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.”