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Scottish parks win national award

17 July 07 16:40 GMT

A garden in Dundee and two parks in Edinburgh have won Scotland's first ever Green Flag Awards.

The benchmark, which is the equivalent of the Blue Flag scheme for beaches, is given to the cleanest, safest green spaces.

The initiative has been piloted in Scotland this year after running for a decade in England and Wales.

Judges were impressed by Edinburgh's Harrison and Braid Burn Valley Parks and the Barnhill Rock Garden in Dundee.

Organisers now plan to extend the scheme to the rest of Scotland by 2009.

Julie Proctor, chief officer of greenspace scotland, said: "Both councils deserve real credit for agreeing to be guinea pigs and putting their reputations on the line by putting three of their parks under the spotlight and submitting to the judge's scrutiny."

'High quality'

Edinburgh Council's environment leader Robert Aldridge said: "Our unique city has many fantastic green spaces where people can take refuge from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

"These Green Flag Awards recognise Edinburgh's commitment to providing environmentally sustainable, high quality parks as well as the hard work and dedication of those who keep these spaces beautiful."

Dundee Council's leisure, arts and communities convener Councillor Richard McCready added: "Dundee City Council is always looking to improve the standard in its parks and continuing investment focuses on improving facilities such as play areas, signage and pitches.

"The garden attracts many visitors from the local area and much further afield who are impressed by the layout and variety of many specialised plants that are growing there."

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