City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Parks Win 20 Green Flags

By edg - Posted on 25 July 2011

Princes Street Gardens path

Edinburgh’s parks and green spaces have earned twenty awards in this year’s Green Flag national competition. Princes Street Gardens won its first Green Flag, whilst six other parks across Edinburgh have picked up the parks award for the first time.

In total 34 flags were awarded in Scotland, with Corstorphine Walled Garden on Corstorphine Hill receiving the country's only Green Flag Community Award.

The Green Flag Award scheme recognises and rewards the best community parks and green spaces in the UK, judged against eight key criteria, including the sustainability, safety and cleanliness of the environment as well as looking at how actively the local community participates in the park's use and management. Ecological values are addressed - such as pesticide use and elimination of peat for horticultural use - while at the same time the scheme looks at how effectively the park is promoted and made accessible to all members of community whatever their age and ability.

Councillor Robert Aldridge, Environment Leader, said: “These Green Flag Awards positively reflect on all the hard work carried out by our staff to make Edinburgh’s parks and green spaces so attractive. The city is renowned for its beautiful green spaces and I am delighted to see that this has been recognised at a national level.”

This is the first time since the Green Flag Awards were launched in 1996 that Edinburgh has achieved such success. A further seven Green Flags have been awarded to the city this year, on top of the thirteen retained from last year.

“In these challenging financial times it is heartening that the number of Green Flag Awards continue to grow. As the value of green space and the role it plays in our communities strengthens, we must ensure these high standards remain," said Phil Barton, Green Flag Plus Partnership chairman.

Edinburgh's Green Flag Award Winners

  • Princes Street Gardens (City Centre) - New Award
  • Hermitage of Braid and Blackford Hill LNR (South) - New Award
  • Morningside Park (South) - New Award
  • Victoria Park (North) - New Award
  • Hailes Quarry Park (South West)- New Award
  • Muir Wood Road Park (South West) - New Award
  • St Margarets Park (West) - New Award
  • Inverleith Park (North)
  • Figgate Park (East)
  • Portobello Community Garden (East)
  • Burdiehouse Burn Valley Park LNR (South)
  • Braidburn Valley Park (South)
  • Craigmillar Castle Park (East)
  • Corstorphine Hill LNR (West)
  • Hopetoun Crescent Garden (City Centre)
  • Harrison Park (South West)
  • Pentland Hills Regional Park (South West)
  • Station Road Park (West)
  • Easter Craiglockhart Hill LNR (South West)
  • London Road Gardens (City Centre)

LNR = Local Nature Reserve

Green Flag Awards Criteria 1

  1. A welcoming place (includes access, signage)
  2. Healthy, safe and secure (facilities must be safe, secure place for all the community, dog fouling policy, and toilets, drinking water, first aid, public telephones and emergency equipment where relevant (e.g. life belts by water) should be available in or near the park/green space, and be clearly signposted.)
  3. Clean and well maintained (includes litter levels, and maintenance of grounds, buildings, equipment)
  4. Sustainability (looks at parks environmental policy or charter, and management strategy, esp. use of pesticide; elimination of horticultural peat use; recycle waste plant material; energy conservation, pollution reduction, waste recycling, and resource conservation measures.)
  5. Conservation and heritage (conservation and appropriate management of natural features, wildlife and fauna as well as landscapes, buildings and structural features)
  6. Community involvement (looks at knowledge of user community and levels and patterns of use, evidence of community involvement in management and/or developments and results achieved; Appropriate levels of provision of recreational facilities for all sectors of the community).
  7. Marketing (good provision of information to users, e.g. about management strategies, activities, features, ways to get involved; promotion of park as a community resource.)
  8. Management (A management plan or strategy should be in place which reflects the aspirations of Local Agenda 21)

Green Flag Awards

Edinburgh Parks