Record number of Scottish parks get Green Flag environmental awards
A record number of 59 Scottish parks will fly a Green Flag this year after being awarded the environmental honour.
Dock Park in Dumfries, North Lanarkshire's Burngreen Park and Stirling's Beechwood Park became the first in their area to win an award.
The total number of flags, administered by the Keep Scotland Beautiful charity, is up by eight on last year.
Established Green Flag parks in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen retained their flags.
Entrants are assessed on eight criteria, including whether the park or green space is welcoming, healthy, safe, clean and well-maintained.
Successful parks also have to be sustainable, manage conservation and heritage, have community involvement, market themselves and have good management.
Edinburgh received 26 flags - up two on last year - while Glasgow earned eight, including Pollok Country Park and Queen's Park.
Dundee, Fife and Midlothian all received four flags.'Commendable efforts'
Derek Robertson, chief executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said Scotland's parks "are going from strength to strength".
He added: "We're very proud of all of our award winners and particularly of the army of local volunteers who work all year round in rain or shine to make Scottish parks beautiful."
Environment minister Paul Wheelhouse said: "The availability of high-quality green space and parks is very important for the health and well-being of the people of Scotland.
"Long may these commendable efforts continue."
Celebrating Stirling's first green Flag at Beechwood Park, Stirling Council environment convener Danny Gibson said the award was the result of a 10-year community masterplan put in place for improving the park.
He added: "The park has seen major improvements including new play equipment, extensive tree planting including an orchard, improvements to the cycle paths and changes to the maintenance regimes to make the park more appealing.
"The Green Flag Award is recognition for all the hard work that has gone in to making the park a significant local asset and we are delighted with this achievement."