City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Pentland Hills Park Becomes Largest UK Park To Get Green Flagged

By edg - Posted on 17 July 2008

The Pentland Hills Regional Park has become the largest park in the UK to be presented with a Green Flag award by the Civic Trust. The 10,000 hectare country park is Edinburgh's third to get a green flag. Harrison Park in the Polwarth area and Braidburn Valley Park in South Morningside have gained the accolade for the second year running.

The Green Flag Award scheme has been the national standard for parks and green spaces in England and Wales since 1996 and was introduced in Scotland last year. The benchmark aims to encourage the provision of safe, clean and accessible public parks which are managed in an environmentally sustainable way. Winners of the award must apply each year to renew their Green Flag status.

Recent projects in the Pentlands including the upgrading of paths and signage, wildflower meadow plantings, environmental education schemes and even a bird hide, have contributed to making the parks accessible and popular community spaces.

Managing Edinburgh parks is considered a balancing act of providing for rural industry, recreational use, while also protecting wildlife and ecological values. "Edinburgh's green spaces cater for hillwalkers, cyclists,
birdwatchers, horse riders, school groups and much more whilst at the
same time providing refuge for nature and local heritage," points out City of Edinburgh Council Environment Leader Robert Aldridge.

Land uses over the Pentland's Regional Park, which is jointly managed by City of Edinburgh, Midlothian and West Lothian Councils, include farming, forestry, water supply, recreation and estate management.

It was the continuous improvement of the park to better meet the needs of communities that was
key to the award being given says Julie Proctor, Chief Officer of Greenspace Scotland. "These awards recognise and celebrate the work of the Council in improving the quality of City greenspaces for local people and visitors."

Karen Young, Chair of Friends of Braidburn Valley Park said: "The Friends of Braidburn Valley Park are delighted that our park has won its second Green Flag Award in Scotland. We have worked hard to encourage new users to come to the park, and to make it better for wildlife, so are delighted that this has been recognised with the award."