greenspace scotland news | MyParkScotland | Project of the month | scotland news | Scottish projects round-up | UK and international news | research | funding and support | jobs and volunteering | events and training
Welcome to our October ebulletin. We highlight some of the great work that is happening across Scotland and further afield to support greenspaces as well as raising awareness of research, funding and events which may interest you and your networks.
greenspace scotland news
Greenspace and climate resilience
As we head towards COP26, we’ve been looking back at our work on climate resilience. Starting 10 years ago with Developing the role of greenspace in climate change mitigation and adaptation which led on to climate resilient parks and urban greening. Work on the Five Streets in Glasgow informed the Avenues Project and exploratory feasibility work led to Saughton Park in Edinburgh becoming Scotland’s first ParkPower park with ground source heat and micro-hydro. Working with Sniffer and Glasgow Centre for Population Health we looked at the resilience of communities in the face of climate change through Weathering Change. Our Nesta Rethinking Parks supported ParkPower project and more recently Green Heat in Greenspaces (GHiGs) revealed that urban rivers and greenspaces could supply nearly 80% of the heat demand of Scotland’s towns and cities. The work on ParkPower and GHiGs was only possible because of work with Ordnance Survey to map and categorise all of Scotland’s urban greenspaces through OS Greenspace
Looking forward: greenspace scotland has committed to sign the National Climate Resilience Summit: ambition statement.
Find our climate resilience reports and publications here and more about greenspace and climate resilience and ParkPower
Tesco Community Grants – apply now for 2022 projects
It’s autumn and already time for planning next year’s projects. Did you know Tesco Community Grants is always open for applications from charities and community organisations for funding up to £1,500?
We are looking for applications from projects that help to tackle food poverty and sustainable food provision in communities. This might include community growing projects, cookery skills and supplying food banks. If you fit the bill or know a local group who does please visit our Tesco Community Grants page. We’re also looking for projects that have a focus on supporting children and young people and welcome your applications.
greenspace scotland’s friendly team of Community Enablers are here to help. We are saying farewell to Helen Stockham this month and her areas will be shared across the team, so follow this link to find an enabler near you.
MyParkScotland: Supporting crowdfunds, text giving and parks
If you want to raise funds for your park or greenspace project, then please get in touch. Every project listed on the MyParkScotland crowdfunding page also has the opportunity to raise funds through a unique text code. People can donate from £1 to £20 via text, a super simple way for donors to easily support your project. Contact to find out how MyParkScotland can help you raise funds for your project. Show how much you love parks and greenspaces by helping others achieve their park dreams by making a donation to support an outdoor classroom, play areas, park events or a park bothy.
Project of the month
Open-source shelter design
Earlier this year Mayfield and Easthouses Development Trust made the most of those quiet winter lockdown months. They developed and built a low-cost open-source design for a shelter. The open-source aspect of the project means we can share the design and construction with other groups across Scotland.
Their Pavilion Garden needed the shelter to host activities for a variety of local community groups including schools and playgroups who wanted to move some activities outdoors to remain operational but require some form of outdoor shelter to be able to plan irrespective of rain, wind or shine! The shelter has proved invaluable and has been a hub of activity. It was used by Rainbows, Scouts, Brownies, families at Stay and Play sessions, the Wheelbeing Hub sessions (a bike fixing project), Artlink Scotland and volunteer gardeners who were busy re-building and sorting the garden ready for the new season.
The shelter has really boosted the useability of their garden throughout the pandemic: it’s allowed them to be open consistently (even if limited) during lockdown and is going to come into its own again during winter as it will help to extend our outdoor activities and work in the garden. So, if you are in need of a bit of kit that welcomes folk in and encourages more use of your outdoor space then this could be just what you are looking for.
Take a look at the detailed design guide.
The materials used are suggestions that all could be substituted to suit needs and specifications. For lots of other inspiring ideas for activities, equipment and structures to get you outdoors look at our other Better Outside resources too.
Thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for supporting greenspace scotland’s Better Outside – Using Our Spaces More project. This funding allowed us to work with Mayfield and Easthouses Development Trust and Social Farms and Gardens Scotland to produce technical drawings of the shelter design and make it freely available as open source.
Local food for everyone consultation
Everyone, from private individuals to businesses and organisations are invited to help shape a local food strategy for Scotland. This consultation is the first stage in a strategy to make high quality food accessible to all and promote the benefits of local food. Give your views by 26 November 2021.
New SPICe Briefing on the Environment
This briefing provides an overview of environmental policy and governance in Scotland - including information on key legislation, responsibilities and forthcoming areas of policy development across different subject areas.
Derelict sites to receive share of £5m
Ten projects will receive a share of £5 million, as part of the first round of grants in the vacant and derelict land investment programme. They include the development of a food growing area in Glasgow on part of an abandoned Meat Market site; a cycle park and active travel hub on a site in South Lanarkshire and transforming a derelict site in Easterhouse, Glasgow, into a wildlife habitat for use as an outdoor education and recreation area. See our funding section for info on the next round of the Vacant and Derelict Land funding.
Scottish projects round-up
Transforming derelict space in Barrhead
With funding from the Scottish Government’s vacant and derelict land investment programme, a derelict site in Barrhead will be transformed into a new greenspace, with a dramatic re-wilding of the Levern Water at its centrepiece. The river will be widened and re-channelled to create a waterfront that can absorb increased heavy rainfall caused by climate change. Local residents will be able to enjoy new paths, river bank seating, wild flower meadows and woodland.
Scotland’s largest new district park opens in Winchburgh
The opening of phase 1 of the Auldcathie District Park unlocks around a quarter of the 85-acre park. It re-opens a link path to the Union Canal from the village, allowing locals and visitors to enjoy grassed playing areas, new walking and running routes and an enclosed dog park. The celebration also marked the handing over of a new community garden to the Winchburgh Community Growing Group. The final park, to be completed in 2023, will be over twice the size of Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens.
Sow and Tell – community growing book published
To coincide with the opening of Auldcathie District Park, Winchburgh Community Growing Group have published Sow and Tell. 400 copies have been printed with stories and tips from residents on growing in Winchburgh! The project launched earlier in the year and was written during the pandemic and copies are now on sale.
UK award for Woodlands Community Garden
Woodlands Community Garden in Glasgow has officially been named best community garden in UK and has won the Cultivation Street 2021 award. Despite or perhaps because of lockdown, Cultivation Street 2021 saw more entries than ever before. Record numbers of people entered their community gardening competition.
Outdoor Learning Hub to bring people together in nature
An outdoor learning hub, which will present outstanding opportunities for the local community, teachers and people across Scotland to come together in natural environments, is to be built at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. The project is being delivered through collaboration with Architecture & Design Scotland and will support teachers and leaders in the evolving area of outdoor learning, with various courses leading to professional qualifications.
Glasgow National Park City needs you
The Glasgow National Park City group are working with organisations and individuals to achieve a shared vision of a Greener, Healthier, Wilder Glasgow. They are looking for more volunteers to join the group and get involved in setting up events, promoting through social media and working to achieve National Park City status for Glasgow – if you’d like to get involved email
Your community greenspace FAQs
Here’s the place to find help and advice to make the most of your greenspace. At greenspace scotland, we receive lots of calls and emails from people and groups looking to get more involved with their local greenspace, from finding out who owns it, to organising events and volunteering activities, fundraising for improvements and responding to planning applications, through to community leasing and ownership options. There is a lot of information available, but sometimes you need a helpful guide to navigate your way through the plethora of online advice and support. We hope that ‘Your Community Greenspace’ will help signpost you to the right information. Take a look here
UK and international news
Why society needs nature report published
A joint UK agency report has been published looking at what happened when our access to outdoor spaces was changed during Covid 19. The report found that experience of visiting nature was a polarised picture, while some people’s interaction with nature increased during the pandemic, others visited nature less or not at all. In Scotland, most people adhered to the ‘stay local’ message of spring 2020. Visits to coastal locations and to more remote or rural places decreased while more use was made of local urban greenspaces.
West Midlands natural environment plan launched
The Natural Environment Plan sets out the actions the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and its partners will take over the next five years to enhance the region’s biodiversity, protect endangered species, and improve access to greenspaces and waterways for residents. The plan is split into four themes of: access to greenspace; tree and hedgerow planting; wildlife corridors; and supporting financing to make these proposed changes happen.
Woodland for water to improve water quality and biodiversity
The ‘Woodlands for Water’ project aims to create 3,150 hectares of trees in six river catchment areas from Devon to Cumbria by March 2025. Planting trees on and around riverbanks, or allowing them to grow naturally, can help to improve water quality by blocking the runoff of pollutants into rivers, manage flood risks by slowing the flow of water, boost biodiversity by creating new habitat corridors and make our rivers more climate resilient by providing shade and cooling water temperatures.
Natural capital accounting briefing
This briefing note summarises the development of natural capital accounting practices in the UK, draws lessons from good practice and looks at likely future progress. It aims to inform further development and use of natural capital in the UK and beyond.
Urban Forest Plan for Madrid
Madrid City Council has launched a tender for a 74km-long forest belt to be developed around the city’s perimeters. El Bosque Metropolitano, a long-term city project that will take about 12 years to complete, will allow almost half a million new trees to be planted, it will improve air quality, decrease desertification and flood risks, support biodiversity, and act as a thermal regulator for the city as it will mitigate Madrid’s urban heat island. This urban forest plan is the continuation of Madrid’s ongoing strategy of bringing nature back to the city.
1000 playstreets down under
1000 Play Streets is the movement Play Australia is leading to empower Australians to reclaim quiet residential streets across Australia as places for neighbours to connect and play, to ultimately improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. They are working toward achieving 1000 Play Streets in Australia by 2025. There is much to learn from this project to get kids outdoors and communities connected. They have a handy toolkit for local governments to support them make the project happen.
Putting the park into parking
For International Car Free Day on 22 September, Living Streets teamed up with community activist to create a Parklets toolkit to help others follow in her footsteps and reclaim public spaces in their local area. Parklets have been popular in the US since the 1990s. In the UK, one of the first of its kind appeared in Hackney, London in 2015, with others now popping up in Leeds and Greater Manchester. Brenda Puech led London’s parklet revolution when she transformed a parking space outside her home into a parklet, creating a game-changing innovative use of street space. The immensely popular creation led to parklet permits being made legal in Hackney and other London boroughs.
State of the UK’s Woods and Trees research
State of the UK’s Woods and Trees 2021 lays out the facts and trends on the current state of the UK's native woods and trees. The report identifies four significant findings: woodland cover is gradually increasing, but woodland wildlife is decreasing; woods and trees are vital for a healthy, happy society and woods and trees are subject to a barrage of coinciding threats. In order to help the UK’s woods, trees, wildlife and people, the report recommends five priority actions. Time, money, people and innovation are needed to take on the challenge and create opportunities for woods and trees.
State of the environment: the urban environment
This research report looks at the state of the urban environment in England. It outlines some of the challenges created by urban areas for managing natural resources and waste, and the links between urban environments and wider environmental issues. The report looks at natural capital in cities, and the benefits of urban green and blue spaces for wildlife and people. It also highlights environmental inequalities in urban areas.
Large ecological benefits of small urban greening actions
This study demonstrates how large ecological benefits may be derived from investing in small greening actions and how these contribute to bring indigenous species back to greenspaces where they have become rare or locally extinct. The findings provide evidence to support best practice in greenspace design and contribute to re-invigorate policies aimed at mitigating the negative impacts of urbanisation on people and other species.
Green neighbourhoods linked with better heart health
People who live in green neighbourhoods are less likely to develop cardiovascular disease, according to this US research. Making streets and neighbourhoods greener has many benefits and this study investigated whether it had any relationship with rates of heart disease. The researchers also examined whether planting more vegetation in a locality would be accompanied by reductions in heart disease over time.
More urban greenspace for happy citizens
This study reveals that, as a city becomes more economically developed, its citizens’ happiness becomes more directly related to the area of urban greenspace. The research team used data collected by a high-resolution satellite operated by the European Space Agency (ESA), to investigate images of 90 greenspaces from 60 different countries around the world. The subjects of analysis were cities with the highest population densities (cities that contain at least 10% of the national population), and the images were obtained during the summer of each region for clarity.
funding and support
Each month we feature a small selection of funding opportunities open to parks, greenspace, green infrastructure and community projects. Visit the funding section of our website to find out about lots more funding opportunities
Scottish Government – Vacant and Derelict Land Investment Programme
A capital programme, now open to applications for funding in 2022 to 2023. Open to all 32 Scottish local authorities and Clyde Gateway Urban Regeneration Company. Deadline for stage 1 applications is 5pm on 12 Nov.
Central Scotland Green Network CSGN – Growing Food Together Fund
Open to communities across ALL Scotland. Fund aims to foster community engagement in growing and learning about food, promoting healthy eating and outdoor exercise. Projects could include elements of the installation of physical infrastructure; sourcing materials and equipment in preparation for the 2022 growing season; site feasibility studies or design work; non-site based projects such as training and events that encourage interest in local community growing. Projects to be delivered between Nov 21 and Mar 22. Closes 14 Oct.
National Lottery Community Fund – Together for Our Planet
Grants from £1,000 to £10,000 to support communities to take action on climate change. Projects should reflect what matters to your community and can be small in scale. They could cover an area like: food; transport; energy; waste and consumption; the natural environment. Particularly interested to hear from people who are starting to think about taking action on climate change in their communities. Closes 18 Nov.
Inspiring Scotland – Rural Communities Ideas into Action Fund
Small Grants (up to £3000) and Large Grants (£3001 - £50000) to encourage and support innovative approaches to community-led local development in rural communities across Scotland. Closes midday 8 Oct.
Paths for All - Community Paths Active Travel Grants
Up to £3000 is available to promote, improve or maintain accessible active travel routes for short everyday journeys. Closes 7 Nov.
Sustrans – Love Your Network
Community groups can apply for a grant to improve the environment around a traffic free section of their local National Cycle Network. Closes 6 Feb 2022.
Local Energy Scotland – CARES enablement grant
Funding of up to £25,000 for early stage activity to investigate a community renewable energy project.
EVOC – Edinburgh Community Lottery
Currently registering Good Causes in the Edinburgh area. Each group sets up a page and encourages supporters to purchase tickets at £1/week. Supporters can win a cash prize, as well as supporting the project with a monthly donation.
CTSI – Clacks Community Lottery
Open to good causes in Clackmannanshire.
Scottish Landfill Communities Fund – FCC Scottish Action Fund
Grants of between £2K and £40K for not-for-profits to deliver environmental and community benefit. Includes maintaining or improving parks; biodiversity; recycling. Projects must be within 10 miles of eligible waste facility (map checker accessed via eligibility check on website) Closes 1 Dec.
International Tree Foundation – UK Community Tree Planting
Community groups and schools can apply for small scale (up to £1000 for small community woodland, orchards, hedging projects, etc.) or larger scale (1000 – 5000 trees). Closes 16 Dec.
Tesco Community Grants
Tesco Community Grants is open for applications and will provide grants of up to £1500 to support projects focused on supporting children and families, and food poverty – including community food growing. The scheme is open to registered charities and not-for-profit organisations, including Local Authorities and schools. greenspace scotland’s team of Community Enablers are here to help!
jobs and volunteering
Community Engagement Officer - Sustrans
Supporting the Project Lead, the officer will plan, deliver and evaluate sessions with communities and stakeholders that aim to develop design proposals and behaviour change recommendations that create more liveable neighbourhoods. Closing date: 7 Oct
Community Engagement Officer, Scotland - Ramblers
Ramblers Scotland is looking for a highly experienced project officer to lead and manage this exciting project which involves working with communities across Scotland who face barriers to participation, to map and promote their local path networks. Closing date: 7 Oct
Dandelion Growing Partnerships Manager - Dandelion
Dandelion will be a major supporter of the Good Food Nation Bill and aims to create a vast food growing network across Scotland. The Dandelion Growing Partnerships Manager will work to the Creative Director supporting the strategic development of this new growing alliance. For more details email: Closing date: 7 Oct
Senior Project Officer – Building Roots Ayrshire - TCV
The TCV Building Roots Ayrshire project is an exciting partnership project between TCV Scotland and three local authority departments in North, East and South Ayrshire. The Senior Project Officer will oversee the general running and organisation of the project. Closing date: 8 Oct
Development Officer -West Calder and Harburn Community Development Trust
Development Officer to run volunteer, enterprise and wellbeing activities at their community garden and woodland. Closing date: 10 Oct
UK Year of Service Greenstart Environmental Traineeships for 18-24 year olds based in Edinburgh/Stirling/Glasgow – TCV
TCV are working in partnership with Volunteering Matters, NCS and the Government Kickstart Scheme to provide paid placements that put your skills and beliefs to work, making a difference to communities. Closing date: 10 Oct
Skills for Bees: Scotland Project Officer - The Bumblebee Conservation Trust
The primary role will be to recruit and work with volunteers to increase bumblebee surveying in the Cairngorms area of Scotland, with a particular emphasis on training and mentoring volunteers for the BeeWalk scheme. Closing date: 10 Oct
Network Engagement Coordinator - Art & Diversity - Sustrans
The co-ordinator will help to deliver Sustrans Paths for Everyone vision along with the active travel policy goals of the Scottish Government and specifically, deliver projects for the Network Engagement Service Programme. Closing date: 13 Oct
Team Leader Streetscene Technical Support – East Dunbartonshire Council
Lead on the delivery of greenspace and climate ready projects along with leading the Streetscene Technical Support team on open space management, community partnership and project delivery. Closing date: 20 Oct
events and training
7 Oct - Scottish Landscape Alliance’s landscape policy debate, Online
Help shape Scotland’s landscape policy – join the debate to assist the Scottish Government in tackling the changes required to address climate change, public health and wellbeing and inclusive economic growth. Focus on 30 by 30 Targets, Social Renewable Advisory Board’s Report, Climate Action Plan & Just Transition Report, Environment Strategy.
6 & 7 Oct - Meet Our Waterfront Exhibition, Glasgow
‘Meet Our Waterfront’ is the emerging urban masterplan for Custom House Quay and Carlton Place. This is a public consultation event at the 1873 Hall at The Briggait, where you can learn more about the masterplan proposals at a two-day exhibition, welcoming all local residents, stakeholders across the city who are interested in the project to attend.
8 Oct – Habitat by design
To enable towns and cities to serve both nature and their citizens well, we need the correct policies and design standards. So, what should be the standards for building with nature? How do we ensure that trees and green and blue infrastructure are treated as an integral part of the overall urban infrastructure? How do we take Biodiversity Net Gain and Nature Based Solutions and implement them into design? Part of the Habitat Matters webinar series on how and why we must incorporate rich habitats into the built environment.
11-14 Oct - Manchester Festival of Climate Action
Join the discussions to tackle the biggest climate questions. Over four days, the festival will consider the challenges at the forefront of the climate crisis, providing a forum to share innovative solutions to drive urgent change. Each day is dedicated to one of the four COP26 goals – mitigation, adaptation, finance and collaboration. Free, online and open to all, the festival will unite policymakers, industry, academics, students, practitioners and members of the public to consider, debate and address the issues facing us on a local, national and global scale.
20 Oct - The Future of Nature
Progressive business leaders now realise that considering nature makes sense for competitive advantage and sustainable growth - there are real and material risks associated with nature’s decline. Join this virtual event to explore the opportunities for applying nature-based solutions to businesses, cities and communities.
20 Oct – Boosting the Impact of Nature-Based Solutions for Resilient and Healthy Cities
In this knowledge brokerage session, cities from the EU-funded projects Connecting Nature and CLEVER Cities will introduce novel tools and methodologies to deliver impactful NBS and track NBS performance. Registration required by 11 October
20 Oct - Let's to business building edible cities with NBS
Learn about edible city solutions, their business models and hear from innovators. Edible City Solutions focus on urban productive landscapes, including urban farming, agro-forestry, aquaculture, biomass production for energy and much more.
21 Oct - What if.../ we reconsider how we will live together?
As part of the Scotland + Venice What if...?/Scotland exhibition at V&A Dundee join in to explore some of the responses and to hear from curators, architects and creatives that have responded to this year’s Biennale theme. The event includes the curators of The Garden of Privatised Delights, Entanglement and What if…?/Scotland.
21 Oct - Design & Management of High Quality Greenspaces
This webinar will explore: How we measure the effectiveness of good green space? How do we manage and maintain green spaces for maximum benefit now and in the future? How is good governance increasing the longevity of habitats? How can the public get involved to report issues and maximise the potential of green spaces? Part of the Habitat Matters webinar series on how and why we must incorporate rich habitats into the built environment.
21 Oct - Approaches to address post-COVID societal inequalities
Third in the PHINS 2021 webinar series focusing on approaches to address post-COVID societal inequalities.
27 Oct - Increasing community participation in a just transition to Net Zero in the North-East of Scotland - Stories of Positive Change, Online
The second workshop of this series will focus on community revitalisation, fuel poverty and greenspace – to hear positive and practical stories of change and share how communities can address these challenges.
27 Oct - Community Gardens Beyond Communities, Kenya
The third in a series of seminars with a focus on how community gardens can be catalysts for wider community mobilisation on environmental issues. Through a series of participatory and creative workshops, the programme will involve the collaboration of policy-makers, community activists and academic partners from Scotland, Brazil, Portugal, Nepal as well as USA and Kenya.
Oct – Autumn Path Days
Paths for All are encouraging families to get outside in October and have hours of fun tackling climate change and nature loss with our Autumn Path Days campaign. Lots of fun ideas and a competition too.
Learning for a Sustainable Future
New online course offered for free by the University of Edinburgh, Learning for Sustainability Scotland and British Council. You’ll learn more about current global issues and consider how we can all take action, personally or locally.
TCV events to protect and enhance our greenspaces
TCV Scotland organises a diverse range of training courses and learning opportunities covering practical conservation skills, habitat management, group leadership and organisation, nature-based arts and crafts, wildlife identification and citizen science. Training participants include interested individuals and students looking to brush-up on their environmental knowledge and experience, and members of community groups keen to use newfound skills to enhance their local environment.
On Demand - Green infrastructure standards conference
Organised by the TCPA on behalf of the Green Infrastructure Partnership and Natural England. The recordings will be of interest to national, regional and local politicians; planners; environmentalists; park managers; ecologists; landscape architects and land managers; developers; public health professionals; and academics.
On Demand – Young People and Place Festival
Through presentations, films and workshops, the Young People & Place Festival (in June 2021) shared toolkits and resources, and celebrated the achievements of young people, youth workers and groups who have taken part in the Young Placechangers Programme.