Posted Monday July 23, 2018 by Melissa Reilly

Altogether 71 parks from across Scotland have been presented with the Green Flag Award this year. The accolade recognises the provision of clean, safe outdoor space – making sure that everyone has access to quality green and open spaces the length and breadth of the country.

Castlebank is one of three Green Flag Parks in South Lanarkshire, the other two are Strathaven Park and Cambuslang Park.

In partnership with Lanark in Bloom, Lanark Community Development Trust are working to breathe new life into Castlebank Park with the help of a dedicated team of volunteers. The derelict former sawmill and tennis court site has been developed into a Horticultural Training Centre, with work nearing completion on the building works of the new Community Hub building. Volunteers have dedicated thousands of hours to transform various areas of the park for the pleasure and use of the local community, including the Wallace Rose Garden, Fairy Dell and Bog Garden.

Later in July, Castlebank Park will be a key stop on the judging route when Lanark in Bloom aim to achieve Gold in the Beautiful Scotland awards, also administered by Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Sylvia Russell, Chair of Lanark Community Development Trust, commented:

“We are delighted that Castlebank Park has been recognised once again as one of Scotland’s 71 Green Flag Parks. It’s a fantastic accolade that shows the commitment our volunteers, and the park’s custodian, South Lanarkshire Council, have made in returning the park to its former glory. The park is there for the local community to enjoy and more volunteers are always welcome to help us maintain the gardens. Further information on getting involved, and becoming a Friend of Castlebank Park, are available on our website

The list of Green Flag Parks has been significantly boosted this year by the arrival of five park entries which have never received the award before – Fairmilehead Park and Lauriston Castle Park in Edinburgh, Slessor Gardens in Dundee,Victoria Park in Aberdeen and Breadalbane Park in Stirling which received one of our Community Green Flags. The full national list of award winners can be found here.

Like all parks and open spaces they make a tangible positive contribution to the nation’s well-being, with proven links between physical and mental health and easy access to safe, clean and inspiring green spaces. These awards are recognition for those parks making the most positive contribution and are important recognition for the part they play in the nation’s better health outcomes.

The Green Flag Award, administered in Scotland by Keep Scotland Beautiful, is the benchmark for green spaces and recognises the hard work of managers, staff and volunteers who help ensure that outdoor areas provide local everyone of all ages with a safe, clean and inspiring local environment.

Scotland’s winning parks are run by a diverse list of bodies, including local authorities, community trusts a voluntary groups. Amongst the 2018 award winners there are two green spaces which have been awarded the coveted Community Award, Corstorphine Hill Community Walled Garden and Breadalbane Park in Stirling. The Community Award recognises the effort that volunteers and community groups put into maintaining our green spaces to a standard that can be enjoyed by all.

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented:

“Scotland’s parks provide a valuable resource to communities across the country and access to quality green space is vital in helping to tackle some of the health and wellbeing challenges we face.

“I would like to congratulate all 71 parks from across Scotland for achieving this prestigious benchmark. The Green Flag Award scheme sets the standard for the management of our outdoor spaces and recognises the hard work of everyone involved. These are exceptional open spaces and the nation benefits hugely from them.”

The award acknowledges that well maintained parks help support healthy and stable communities and provide a range of health benefits – enabling exercise, improving mental wellbeing and encouraging children to play.

John Howie, Organisational Lead for Health Equity, NHS Health Scotland said:
“Where we live and where we spend our time has an important influence on our health and wellbeing. Good public places tend to be well looked after, are safe, attractive and accessible and strive to offer something for everyone.

“NHS Health Scotland are delighted that the Green Flag Award recognises these qualities and celebrates the invaluable efforts of Keep Scotland Beautiful, partners and communities across the country to ensure our public places continue to contribute to our health and well-being in a positive manner.”

A detailed map of Scotland’s Green Flag parks can be found at:

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