Page last updated at 12:16 GMT, Thursday, 17 July 2008 13:16 UK

Pentland Hills gain a Green Flag

Pentland Hills
The Pentland Hills Regional Park has been awarded a Green Flag

The Pentland Hills Regional Park has become the largest park in the UK to be presented with a Green Flag.

The 10,000 hectare park joins Edinburgh's Harrison Park and Braidburn Valley Park in achieving the accolade.

Barnhill Rock Garden and Trottick Mill Ponds in Dundee picked up the other two Green Flags awarded in Scotland.

The scheme, which has been the national standard for parks in England and Wales since 1996, was introduced in Scotland in 2007.

It aims for safe, clean and accessible public parks which are managed in an environmentally sustainable way.

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

Local heritage

Robert Aldridge, Edinburgh City Council environment leader, said: "In awarding Green Flag status, the Civic Trust judges have recognised that these parks are exceptionally well maintained and that they offer so much to visitors.

"Edinburgh's green spaces cater for hill walkers, cyclists, birdwatchers, horse riders, school groups and much more, whilst at the same time providing refuge for nature and local heritage."

Barnhill Rock Garden
Barnhill Rock Garden in Dundee was recognised by the judges

Julie Proctor, chief officer of Greenspace Scotland, said: "Greenspace Scotland congratulate Edinburgh City Council, and partners, on being awarded three Green Flags.

"Continuous improvement of park management to better meet the needs of communities is key to attaining a Green Flag.

"These awards recognise and celebrate the work of the council in improving the quality of city green spaces for local people and visitors."

James Millan from Friends of Barnhill Rock Garden said: "We're very pleased. We won it last year for the first time and were one of the first gardens to get the Green Flag in Scotland, so we had high hopes of getting it again this year.

"It's a really special garden, it's probably Dundee's best kept secret. Everyone who comes is always impressed with the garden.

"It's got varied planting - woodland planting, alpines, something for everyone."

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