Hermitage Park in Helensburgh joins the best parks and green spaces in Scotland after achieving Green Flag status from Keep Scotland Beautiful.
The Green Flag Award is the benchmark for green spaces and recognises the hard work of managers, staff and volunteers who help ensure that outdoor areas provide locals with a safe, clean and inspiring local environment.
The news follows a £3.6m restoration and redevelopment of the Park that includes a new pavilion, upgraded park entrance and plaza, restored War Memorial Garden, a demonstration garden and upgraded children’s play park. The project was awarded £2,333,300 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Parks for People programme and has been managed by Argyll and Bute Council with support from The Friends of Hermitage Park who were instrumental in starting the project.
As part of the judging process, the panel were impressed that community is placed at the heart of the management plan and are involved with every step of the redevelopment. The Park boasts a number of green credentials including new drainage and water filtration schemes that contribute to local climate change actions, by storing water within the park, reducing immediate run-off into watercourses which in turn helps reduce flooding downstream.
The new Pavilion, built to passivhaus standards of construction is energy efficient and reduces heat transfer through walls, floors and the roof. The design means that 90% less heating is consumed in comparison to conventional buildings.
Councillor Gary Mulvaney, Policy Lead for Finance and Major Projects:
“Huge congratulations to the team behind the restoration and redevelopment of Hermitage Park for achieving Green Flag status. The Park holds many fond memories for the people of Helensburgh with many generations having enjoyed this fantastic green space. Community lies at the heart of Hermitage Park, a green space for people to escape to, a meeting place that not only allows recreation but contributes to a climate friendly Argyll and Bute.
The Friends of Hermitage Park have worked tirelessly with council staff to make sure the Park can be enjoyed for next generations. Although the current pandemic is hampering official opening plans, we look forward when it is safe, to opening our new pavilion later this year and proudly flying our green flag.”
Fiona Baker, Chair of the Friends of Hermitage Park Association:
“The Friends are delighted that the park has achieved a Green Flag award. It is very encouraging that our work so far, in partnership with the Council, has been recognised, especially as we now start on the main planting phase and making the park a truly beautiful place for everyone to enjoy.”
Funding for the Hermitage Park project has been provided by a number of partners including Argyll and Bute Council, the MOD Covenant Fund, the War Memorial Trust, SUSTRANS and the Heritage Lottery Fund Parks for People programme.