Athletics legend Liz McColgan has backed a campaign to create the first-ever fund dedicated to improving  Scotland's parks and greenspaces.

The Parks4Life fund was launched in August by social enterprise Greenspace Scotland - backed by The Herald - with a target to raise £1million and since then more than £927,688 has been received in donations.

Community groups will be able to apply for grants to support projects and activities once the target has been achieved.

Public figures, including midde-distance runner Liz McColgan have been speaking out about the role parks played in their lives growing up to show their support for the campaign.

She said: “As a kid I lived in flats with no open spaces, no grass but I remember the fun times I had with my family for days out picnics to Camperdown Park. Always happy healthy memories.”

The Herald: Track legend Liz McColgan has backed the parks fund campaignTrack legend Liz McColgan has backed the parks fund campaign (Image: Getty)

"I used to do a lot of my easy long runs on Sundays in Camperdown Park in Dundee.

"It’s really important to keep green spaces available to the public."

READ MORE: Scotland's first parks fund on target to raise £1million 

Singer-songwriter Karine Polwart, also shared her connection to parks, saying, “Our Scottish parks are sanctuaries in all the noise and speed of modern living - places to walk and play, stop and sit, lie down and listen.

The Herald: The campaign aims to raise £1million by the end of the Year Picture: NewsquestThe campaign aims to raise £1million by the end of the Year Picture: Newsquest (Image: Freelancer)

"They’re also places to really notice that we’re not alone in this world, as humans, that we share all of our greenspaces with so many other living things.”

A host of MSPs have also shared their memories that illustrate their love for local parks.

Foysol Choudhury, MSP, said of The Meadows in Edinburgh: “As a school kid growing up the highlight of my day was dropping my school bag at home and running to the local park to play football with friends.

"Our children need open spaces to run, play and connect with nature. Our local communities need their greenspaces to gather with family and friends; enhance mental health and wellbeing; improve air quality and local biodiversity.”

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Angela Constance, MSP, added:  “Along with many parents in West Lothian I have enjoyed visiting Howden Park with my own son as he was growing up for picnics, walks, and play, and would encourage others to utilise the parks and open green spaces they have in their own areas.”

Greenspace Scotland launched its Park Portraits campaign; a digital photo exhibition bringing to life the stories of a dozen Scottish people and the ways that parks have enriched their lives.

The Herald:

The series, available to view on the social enterprise's website celebrates people from a wide range of backgrounds across Scotland, and uncovers just how important their parks are to them for their mental and physical wellbeing.

With less than £75,000 left needed to hit the goal by the end of the year, project leaders say every donation large and small makes a difference towards reaching the first £1 million target.

There is a longer-term ambition to create a multi-million-pound sustainable endowment fund, similar to those commonly used by charities where money raised is held in an investment fund and the interest and dividends generated from that investment provides a sustainable source of income.

Donations to Parks4Life can be made online or by texting PARK to 70450 to make a one-off donation of £5.