Environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful has announced that Helix Park has been presented with a Green Flag Award.
The accolade acknowledges quality green open spaces across the country that help to boost the nation's health and wellbeing.
The international Green Flag Award is administered in Scotland by Keep Scotland Beautiful and acts as a benchmark for recreational outdoor space.
The award celebrates well maintained parks and greenspaces and supports the opportunities that they provide to enable exercise, improve mental wellbeing and provide safe areas for play – something particularly important in recent times.
Amongst the 2021 award winners are spaces managed by local authorities, community groups and various other organisations including the NHS.
The Helix is a unique outdoor greenspace, borne from an idea to build an ecopark as part of the Falkirk Greenscape Initiative, transforming 350 hectares of land between Falkirk and Grangemouth.
Helix Park is also home to The Kelpies, the world’s largest equine sculptures. The Kelpies tower over the Forth and Clyde canal at a height of 30 metres, and weigh more than 300 tonnes.
Networked paths stemming from the Helix now connect 16 local area communities.
Barry Fisher, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented:
“I would like to congratulate all of Scotland’s award-winning parks. Receiving this prestigious international benchmark recognises all the hard work that has gone into maintaining and managing these precious green open spaces.
“Every single one of these parks provides an invaluable service to the local communities that it serves - 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.”
A detailed map of Scotland’s Green Flag sites can be found at: keepscotlandbeautiful.org/parks