The Green Flag Award Winners of 2021
77 Scottish parks presented with a Green Flag Award
We are pleased to announce 77 Scottish parks have been presented with a Green Flag Award in 2021. The accolade acknowledges quality green open spaces across the country that help to boost our nation's health and wellbeing.
The international Green Flag Award 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 areas for play – something that has been particularly important to everyone over the last 18 months. A total of 2,127 parks across the UK have achieved the award this year.
Amongst the 2021 award winners are spaces managed by local authorities, community groups and various other organisations including the NHS.
First time awards have been presented to Whitelee Windfarm managed by Scottish Power Renewables and Glasgow Science Centre – the first time a wind farm has featured in the list of awarded parks anywhere in the world - Royal Edinburgh Hospital run by NHS Lothian and Mount Vernon Park Community Garden run by Friends of Mount Vernon Park in Glasgow. Another new green space to win a Green Flag Award this year is the Penicuik to Dalkeith Walkway in Midlothian - a seven-mile former railway line which was assessed using an electric bike to enable the judges to easily cover the entire route.
Barry Fisher, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented: “I would like to congratulate all of Scotland’s award-winning parks. Receiving this prestigious international benchmark recognises all the hard work that has gone into maintaining and managing these precious green open spaces.
“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 work out – and they helped to address many of the health and wellbeing challenges we faced as a country during lockdown.”
“Spending time in nature can be good for people’s health and wellbeing, and merely living in a greener neighbourhood can be good for health. The Green Flag Award recognises the valuable, and tangible contribution that these parks make towards the nation’s well-being.”
Tracey McKagen, Services Director for the Royal Edinburgh Hospital and Associated Services in NHS Lothian, said: “I’m really delighted that our hospital has received this award as it shows how much work goes into looking after our beautiful greenspaces.
“These areas are very important to us in NHS Lothian as they enable both our staff and patients to connect with nature, which helps with mental and general wellbeing.
“This award was only possible with the support and contributions from the whole hospital community, so I would like to thank everyone involved for their ongoing hard work to support our natural areas. As the site evolves to meet future healthcare needs our greenspace management plan will ensue nature continues to be at the heart of the site.”
Lynne Millar Chairperson of Mount Vernon Community Hall & Friends of Mount Vernon Park volunteers commented: We are delighted that Mount Vernon Park Community Garden has achieved this international accolade. The Green Flag Award for parks and open spaces acknowledges all the hard work that has been put in over the years to ensure that the park can be enjoyed by all who use it.
“We have an amazing community support and a great partnership with our Centre Playgroup nursery committee, staff and parents who help us maintain the area. We have had funding from Action Earth, Patterson’s Quarries, National Lottery funding, CSGN, Stalled Spaces, Paths for all, Asda foundation Scotland, Tesco and our local COOP who have all supported us over the years to and have allowed our volunteers to be able to develop the area for the community to use and enjoy.
“We are looking forward to displaying our flag/certificate and letting everyone know”.
A detailed map of Scotland’s Green Flag sites can be found at: www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/parks
14 October 2021