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Aberdeenshire parks gain Green Flag awards

By David Porter

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Uryside has picked up its first Green Flag
Uryside has picked up its first Green Flag

Environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful has announced three parks in Aberdeenshire have been presented with a Green Flag Award.

Recognising the very best of our country’s outdoor areas, the International Green Flag Award acts as a benchmark for clean, safe and well-maintained parks and green spaces.

Administered in Scotland by Keep Scotland Beautiful, the Green Flag Award supports the opportunities that our green spaces provide to enable exercise, improve mental wellbeing and provide safe spaces for play.

Winners of the 2023 awards include parks managed by local authorities, community groups, universities and other organisations.

Haddo has won for a second year
Haddo has won for a second year

Aberdeenshire’s three award-winning parks are Aden Country Park, which has received the award for 14 consecutive years, Haddo Country Park, which has won for the second time after its first win in 2022, and new winner Ury Riverside Park, which is managed by Ury Riverside Park SCIO and has won the Community Award.

Ian Talboys, Trustee at Ury Riverside Park, said: “The volunteers who develop and manage the Ury Riverside Park are very pleased to be recognised with a Community Green Flag Award.

"The strap line for the Park is ‘Ury Riverside Park is a community park for people and wildlife to enjoy together’ which seems to encapsulate what the Community Green Flag Award is all about.

"It is amazing what our local community has achieved in the six years the park has been in development, from a barley field to a biodiverse park that provides a facility we think is unique in the heart of a Scottish town.

"To achieve this accolade will help us move things on to the next level and help with future projects.”

Uryside Park: Picture Ian Talboys
Uryside Park: Picture Ian Talboys

Cllr Alan Turner, Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “I am absolutely delighted to see that Aberdeenshire has scored a hat-trick of Green Flag Award successes with Ury Riverside Park at Inverurie this year joining the esteemed company of our country parks at Aden and Haddo.

“It is testament to the tremendous efforts of both council services and all the community volunteers who continue to ensure that these north-east attractions are maintained to a very high standard for visitors to enjoy throughout the year.

“What has been achieved at Ury Riverside Park in such a short space of time is nothing short of miraculous, with various areas now being managed including wildflower meadows, wetlands, newly planted native woodlands and informal recreational spots.

“I wish all three attractions the very best for the summer season ahead and know that all our communities and visitors alike will be eager to visit them and enjoy the great outdoors, facilities and attractions they continue to offer.”

Jamie Ormiston, Senior Awards Officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “Congratulations to all of our winners in Aberdeenshire.

"Every park has a wide range of people visiting them and their requirements can vary.

"What is essential is that they are well maintained and provide a place for people to relax and have fun.

“Our award-winning parks have demonstrated they are worthy winners, meeting the criteria of the coveted international award. Receiving this prestigious benchmark recognises all the hard work that has gone into maintaining and managing these precious green open spaces.

“It is imperative that Scotland reconnects with the natural world if we are to fix the biodiversity crisis and these green spaces will provide a space for people of all ages to do that.

“Green spaces are so important for our physical and mental wellbeing and it’s fantastic to see such a wide range of parks and green spaces across the entire length of the country. I encourage everyone to make the most of them this summer.”

A total of 87 green spaces in Scotland have won a Green Flag Awardfor 2023 with nine in Aberdeen including Hazlehead Park, Duthie Park, Seaton Park, Johnston Gardens, Victoria Park, Slopefield Allotments and Garthdee Field Allotments.

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