Duns Park included in World War I Centenary Fields initiative

editorial image

Three parks in the Scottish Borders have been included in a UK-wide World War I commemoration honouring the memories of soldiers who fought and died in conflict.

Duns Park, Wilton Lodge Park in Hawick and Lower Green in West Linton have been named as Centenary Fields by Fields in Trust.

The designation ensures that the parks will remain available as recreational spaces for the community in perpetuity.

The Centenary Fields programme is delivered in partnership with PoppyScotland, highlighting the nation’s gratitude to the generation who served in WWI.

The scheme 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.

The three parks met the Fields in Trust’s criteria – which includes hosting a war memorial – and as a result were put forward by Scottish Borders Council (SBC).

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.

Centenary Fields which are protected as part of this programme include war memorials, parks and recreation grounds, memorial gardens, playing fields or other green spaces with a significant World War I link.

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.”

Councillor Sandy Aitchison, SBC’s Executive Member for Neighbourhoods and Locality Services, said: “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.”