Environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful has announced that 71 Scottish parks have been presented with a Green Flag Award in 2019 and Midlothian is home to two of them.
The International Green Flag Award, administered in Scotland by Keep Scotland Beautiful, 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.
The Midlothian parks celebrating their 2019 Green Flag awards are King’s Park in Dalkieth and Straiton Pond.
Councillor Derek Milligan (Lab), Midlothian Council leader, expressed his joy at the two local Green Flag recipients.
He said: “We are delighted that two of Midlothian’s open spaces feature in this year’s prestigious Green Flag Awards.
“It is tribute to the hard work of all those involved in maintaining these much valued outdoor spaces that we have once again received this accolade.
“It’s also recognition of the council’s commitment to providing high quality green spaces for exercise, play and general wellbeing.”
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.
Duthie Park in Aberdeen and Belleisle Park in South Ayrshire have been presented with prestigious Heritage Awards, recognising how they are managing to support and promote their unique heritage.
Derek Robertson, chief executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented: “I would like to congratulate the award winning parks from Midlothian.
“Receiving this prestigious international benchmark recognises all of the hard work that has gone into maintaining and managing these precious green openspaces.
“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.