THREE Borders parks have been included in a World War I commemoration initiative.

Hawick's Wilton Park, Lower Green in West Linton and Duns Park have received Centenary Fields status.

As well as commemorating the soldiers who fought and died in the 1914-18 conflict, the inclusion provides the three parks with additional protection as recreational spaces, free from any future development plans.

Chair of Fields in Trust Scotland Committee, Brian Samson, said: “We congratulate Scottish Borders Council for dedicating Duns Park, Wilton Lodge Park in Hawick and Lower Green in West Linton as Centenary Fields.

“Each is now included forever in our programme to commemorate World War I.

“Protection of these sites not only recognises the sacrifices of those who gave their lives during the conflict, but also ensures that future generations have valuable green space to enjoy as a living legacy.”

The Centenary Fields, which is delivered in partnership with Poppy Scotland, aims to protect parks and green spaces as an innovative way to honour the memory of the World War I servicemen and also those, military and civilians, who played their part on the home-front to build a better life for the benefit of generations to come.

Scottish Borders Council put the three local parks forward as they each met the criteria of hosting a war memorial.

Duns Park has two commemorative structures – the Duns and Polish war memorials – while Wilton Lodge Park has the Boer War and War memorials, alongside being the home of Hawick Museum which houses the town’s collection of hand-painted war memorial inscriptions.

The Lower Green also includes a war memorial dedicated to those who fell in the first and second World Wars.

Councillor Sandy Aitchison told us: “My own father and his brother left Stow to fight in France.

"They were fortunate and came back but both after long periods in hospital having been seriously wounded.

“I therefore have a personal reason to applaud this initiative, which will mean our local communities will always have somewhere for play, take part in sport or have a quiet moment of reflection.”