Keep Scotland Beautiful has awarded green flag status to a record-breaking 38 capital parks – including 35 managed by the council.

There are only 77 flags awarded in Scotland, so more than half of them recognised parks in the capital as high quality green spaces.

One park, Bloomiehall at Juniper Green, was a first time winner joining the list of 34 others run by the council. Harrison Park and Braidburn Valley Park were both awarded Green Flags for the 15th year in a row, and Friends of Corstorphine Hill received a Green Flag Community Award for Corstorphine Walled Garden.

Bloomiehall Park

Culture and Communities Convener, Councillor Donald Wilson, said: “We’re incredibly proud of our beautiful parks in Edinburgh and it’s wonderful that we’re once again the proud holders of more Green Flags than anywhere else in Scotland (more than half of the awards granted).

“Green Flags are given to those parks that give everyone access to a safe, clean and pleasant green space where they can relax, play and exercise and I’m delighted that so many of our parks have achieved this important and much sought-after recognition which is well deserved.

“Despite the challenging times we’re all still facing and with increased investment, the quality of Edinburgh’s parks continues to improve. I want to pay tribute to everyone, staff, friends of parks and volunteers, who work so hard all year round, and in all-weathers to keep our award-winning parks so beautiful. These public spaces have been a source of comfort, solace, fun and relaxation for residents over the difficult last 18 months and are essential to our wellbeing. There’s always more to discover, though, so I’d encourage everyone to get out and explore our parks this Autumn.”

Culture and Communities Vice Convener, Councillor Amy McNeese-Mechan, said: “This is fantastic news, parks have proved to be real havens in recent times and my thanks to our skilled and dedicated parks staff for their continued care and hard work. I also want to thank all our Friends of Parks groups for everything they do. The parks belong to the people of Edinburgh and we’re so grateful for the support from our citizens. Since we first started taking part in the Green Flag scheme in 2007, we’ve gone from just two flags to 38, which is more than half of all Green Flags given out in the whole country – this is a tremendous achievement and we’ll keep working hard to make sure our parks go from strength to strength.

“The Green Flag Award is the UK’s national standard for parks and green spaces and is administered in Scotland by Keep Scotland Beautiful. To make sure the Capital’s parks are kept to a high standard, each year the Council checks all its parks and gardens using Green Flag Award criteria. This inspection is carried out by formal Green Flag judges along with Council officers, Council partners and members of the public. From this assessment, each park is given a parks quality score.”

The Council has been taking part in the Green Flag Award scheme since 2007, when two Green Flags were awarded in the city.

TRH The Duke and Duchess of Strathearn visit Starbank Park in Edinburgh. May 2021 PHOTO Live Edinburgh News