A BORDERS park has been given its third Green Flag Award.

Wilton Lodge Park in Hawick received the award from Keep Scotland Beautiful – the group that gives the award in Scotland – which celebrates parks and greenspaces across Scotland.

The park was commended by judges for providing an open space to residents during the coronavirus pandemic and providing access to a wide range of sporting, recreational and leisure activities available for a range of ages and abilities.

Councillor Robin Tatler, executive member for community development and localities, said: “The community of Hawick should be applauded for their efforts in developing the Wilton Lodge Park site into an internationally recognised green space.

"This award is testament to their continued commitment and drive to maintain the space and provide benefits to the local area."

He added: “The Park is an invaluable and much-loved community asset and has provided wide-ranging benefits to local residents particularly over lockdown, providing a safe and quiet space that helps promote positive health & wellbeing.”

“The Park’s natural beauty and stunning greenspace attracts thousands of visitors every year and the improvements made through the regeneration scheme have elevated this area into something really special.”

The award helps support parks and greenspaces to provide opportunities for exercise and mental well being.

Barry Fisher, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented: “I would like to congratulate all of those involved in ensuring that Wilton Lodge Park in Hawick has received a Green Flag Award this year. Achieving this prestigious international benchmark recognises all the hard work that has gone into maintaining and managing our precious green open spaces.

“Parks like this provide an invaluable service to the local communities that they serve - from creating a safe space to play, to think, to work out – and they helped to address many of the health and wellbeing challenges we faced as a country during lockdown.

“Spending time in nature can be good for people’s health and wellbeing, and merely living in a greener neighbourhood can be good for health. The Green Flag Award recognises the valuable, and tangible contribution that these parks make towards the nation’s well-being.”

Scottish Borders Council has also secured capital to replace the greenhouse in the Hawick park as part of the walled garden.