Two Aberdeenshire parks have received national recognition for their quality.
Environmental charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful, has announced that a record breaking 73 parks from across Scotland have been presented with a Green Flag Award this year.
The awards are in recognition of their high standards and provision of quality outdoor space - with two being awarded in Aberdeenshire at Aden Country Park in Mintlaw and Haddo Park near Ellon.
The Green Flag Award, administered in Scotland by Keep Scotland Beautiful, is the benchmark for green space.
The two Aberdeenshire parks, run by Aberdeenshire Council, have received the award acknowledging the quality outdoor space that they provide and the wider benefits they deliver for communities - including enabling and encouraging exercise, improving mental well-being and encouraging play for child development.
Aberdeenshire Council joins other local authorities, universities and community groups who are amongst the 2017 award winners.
Councillor Peter Argyle, Chair of Infrastructure Services at Aberdeenshire Council, said: “It's wonderful to see that Aden Country Park and Haddo Park have received renewed Green Flag status from Keep Scotland Beautiful.
“It’s great credit to our teams within Landscape Services who put huge amounts of effort to keep our parks and green spaces clean and safe-to-use for visitors, as well as our residents who continue to take great pride in keeping Aberdeenshire a beautiful place to live in and visit.”
Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented: “I would like to congratulate Aberdeenshire Council for receiving this prestigious benchmark at two of its parks this year. It is pleasing to see their continued success and the number of Green Flag Awards in Scotland increasing year on year.
“Good quality green open spaces are vital to the health and wellbeing of local communities, families and individuals. Parks and open spaces are a fantastic asset - they are free to use and provide opportunities to exercise and socialise.
“With more Scottish parks flying the Green Flag Award than ever before, this record breaking number is a testament to the determination of park managers, local authorities and volunteers - whose hard work in turn brings about a raft of wider impacts on the community as a whole.”
All parks are assessed by volunteer judges with a background in parks management, conservation or ecology. Applicants are judged against demanding criteria which include assessing whether the park or green space is welcoming and well-maintained.
Commenting on the achievement, Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin said: “I am delighted both Haddo Park and Aden Country Park have retained their Green Flag status.
“Both of these local authority run sites are brilliant for the community and tourists alike.
“It is really important we have open spaces which can be visited by individuals and families.
“Parks and open spaces are a brilliant asset and are free to use and provide opportunities to socialise and to exercise.
“I would like to congratulate the staff and everyone at Aberdeenshire Council who works so hard to maintain both Haddo and Aden to the highest standard.”