Two Aberdeenshire parks have maintained their Green Flag Award status, thanks to environmental charity ‘Keep Scotland Beautiful’.
The Green Flag Award is the international benchmark of a quality park or open green space and is awarded annually to parks that meet strict criteria.
This year, both Aden Country Park and Haddo Park have renewed their awards.
In Scotland 71 parks have achieved Green Flag Award status. These parks join more than 1,700 across the UK, and further afield in New Zealand, Finland and Germany.
In Aberdeenshire, the news comes on the day Aden Country Park is confirmed as successful in an application for significant Heritage Lottery Funding investment.
Aden is located in Mintlaw and is home to the Aberdeenshire Farming Museum, forest walks and a spectacular ruined country house. In 2016/17, Aden was Aberdeenshire’s most visited attraction. Haddo House and estate as a stately home and gardens near Tarves and is a National Trust property.
Green Flag Award winning parks and open green spaces are judged against eight criteria - including whether they are clean and well maintained, if the heritage is promoted and conserved, whether the local community is involved and if there is excellent management of the site.
Chair of the Aberdeenshire Council Infrastructure Services Committee, Cllr Peter Argyle, said: “Aden and Haddo are true jewels in the Aberdeenshire crown. They are hugely popular attractions and are visited by many people from this area and beyond each year. Their history, heritage and beauty make them instantly recognisable and it is reassuring to see these award statuses renewed. Along with our partners we maintain investment and commitment to both parks and I am pleased that investment in time and effort is being recognised once again.”
Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented: “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”.
Keep Scotland Beautiful works in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and Keep Wales Tidy to provide a benchmark standard for parks and green spaces in the UK and beyond. Find your nearest Green Flag Award winning park or green space at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/parks.
Central Buchan SNP councillor Jim Ingram said: "I welcome the confirmation that Aden Park has been successful in its bid for the £1.25 million Lottery Grant.
“This will enable the Park Committee to proceed with its planned programme of improvements, which will bring long term advantages to the area, which have been further advanced by the recently awarded Green Flag status to the park.”