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 March ebulletin, read on to find out about 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
Young Placechangers receives funding from The Gannochy Trust
We’re pleased to announce we’ve received funding from The Gannochy Trust. With the funds we’ll continue to support some of the youth groups that started their Young Placechanger journey last year in Perth and Kinross. We’ll also be developing the Young Placechanger programme with a focus on young people and climate action, and thinking about place from the perspective of young women and girls. It’s an exciting time to be doing this work and we are keen to reach out to young people and youth groups across the Perth and Kinross Council catchment area to work with and develop our programme. If you’d like to know more, please contact our Young Placechanger Development Officer Angela Houghton
Tesco Community Grants
Congratulations to all the projects awarded funding from the Oct – Dec voting in Tesco stores. Our enabler team are encouraging applications for projects that help to tackle food poverty and sustainable food provision in communities. This might include community growing projects, cookery skills, school gardens and supplying food banks. Tesco Community Grants is always open for applications from charities, schools and community organisations for funding up to £1,500. We’re also looking for projects that have a focus on supporting children and young people.
Remembering Together – calls open for artists and creative practitioners
Calls are now open for artists/creative practitioners to work on Remembering Together with communities and partners in Aberdeen, Dundee, East Lothian, Inverclyde and North Lanarkshire – and coming soon in other areas. There are drop-in sessions for artists/creative practitioners interested in applying for the Remembering Together programme on 9, 17 and 29 March.
Closing in on success…
With just over a month to go the Friends of Gyle Park are closing in on their £17,000 fundraising target to improve the lighting within the park. Thanks to public and business donations the group are over 80% toward their fundraising target with £14,300 raised.
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.
Email Ian 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
Carluke High Mill - Community Growing & Learning Garden
During March the Scottish Land Commission is hosting Land Reuse Month 2022 to explore how to support delivery of land reform in the public sector. The renovation and redevelopment of Carluke High Mill, built in 1801 in the town centre, is a fantastic example of activating derelict buildings and a ‘stuck site’ that has been derelict for more than 20 years for the benefit of the wider community.
As the most complete windmill in Scotland, it is a Category A listed building but is on the Buildings at Risk register. The community have long-standing ambitions to bring the High Mill back to life and Carluke Development Trust took ownership of the site in 2018. The site surrounding the building is being developed as a community growing and learning garden, complete with solar power, and rain water capture systems both of which will reduce the facility’s impact on the environment. There’s space for a community food hub and outdoor classrooms which will be used by the nearby schools. The building itself will deliver indoor community facilities and rentable high-end events space along with the heritage attractions in the mill tower itself.
Funding for the growing and learning garden has since been secured from the Community Climate Asset Fund and the Vacant & Derelict Land Investment Programme. Importantly, community involvement and local volunteers have been central to advocating for the development and pushing the project forward.
For more information about each week of Land Reuse Month 2022 see details in the Scotland section below.
The back catalogue: Projects of the Month listings
Looking for ideas or to get a snapshot of great greenspace and placemaking activity? Our listing page for all the amazing Projects of the Month includes inspiring projects from Scotland including community food growing, greenspaces for health, young people and greenspace and much more!
Transforming Glasgow into ‘thriving, climate resistant’ city with £10m project
University of Glasgow researchers will work in partnership with Glasgow City Council to create transformation projects across the city and embed sustainability into the wider socio-political system. The project has received £10 million from the Natural Environment Research Council to transform urban river edge land, identify areas to create urban corridor parks that will act as flood storage areas, and build more urban nature such as salt marshes, to improve urban blue space quality for wildlife and people.
Bringing a climate focus to placemaking
The Place Standard Tool 2.0 with a climate lens aims to support integrating climate action into placemaking. It builds on the widely used Place Standard Tool, designed for considering a joined up, collaborative, and participative approach within a place. The first four pilots are taking place across Scotland, with several local communities and organisations, including Edinburgh’s Thriving Green Places project. It is a joint-led project by Sniffer and Sustainable Scotland Network, together with and funded by Public Health Scotland and Scottish Government.
Land Reuse Month - March 2022
The Scottish Land Commission is holding Land Reuse Month 2022 from 3-24 March. A series of free online events aimed at local authority and public sector staff, with a special focus on the areas of planning and regeneration, economic development, communities, housing, and public health. Each week will focus on different themes: Understanding the opportunity, Communities and collaboration, Activate your estate and Develop a strategy. Listings of session topics and confirmed speakers are on the website..
Dandelion’s Unexpected Gardens take root
The Dandelion programme follows the arc of the growing season, from April to September 2022. Unexpected Gardens will spring up on patches of unused or (apparently) unusable land all over Scotland from the Borders to the Highlands, along Scotland’s canals to urban, rural and island locations. Showing that even the unlikeliest space can bloom. A Musician-in-Residence will also connect with each garden to create brand new work.
City Nature Challenge
Glasgow and Edinburgh are working with over 400 cities worldwide to find and record the wildlife across the city in a four-day period from 29 April to 2 May. This can be any wild creature or plant, so not a dog or cat or garden plants, but birds, insects, mammals and wildflowers for example. Taking part is simple! Take pictures of the wildlife you find and upload them to the iNatualist app or website. The app will help you identify what you have seen, which is great if you don’t feel confident identifying animals and plants.
The Big Lunch
The Big Lunch is your chance to get to know one another a little better. We’d encourage you to Big Lunch alfresco and use a local park or greenspace to celebrate community connections – check out Better Outside: Using Our Spaces More for ideas and inspiration for taking indoor activities outside. In 2022, from 2-5 June, The Big Jubilee Lunch will be the official community celebration for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee weekend and The Big Lunch will once again kick start a whole Month of Community. Order your free Big Lunch pack now!
Green Flag Awards – Entries Open
Keep Scotland Beautiful are taking applications for the Green Flag Award 2022. Applications are free to enter for community greenspaces, from large Local Nature Reserves to your local community growing space. For more info email
Scotland's Finest Woods awards open for entries
The annual Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards’ programme rewards and showcases all that is best in Scotland’s forests and woods. The judges will be seeking out Scotland's finest woods and rewarding the pursuit of excellence. Closing date Thursday 31 March.
Scottish projects round-up
Green light for greenspace at Lionthorn Bing
Green Action Trust and Falkirk Council have secured over £560,000 through the Scottish Government’s Vacant and Derelict Land Investment Programme towards the delivery of a large package of greenspace improvements at Lionthorn Bing, Falkirk, totaling close to £750,000. The planned improvements will include landscaping to provide visual interest and shelter on this exposed site, creation of extensive meadow areas, native woodland planting, ‘kick about’ grass pitch, path links/access enhancements to improve the local active travel provision. Check out the video of what will be delivered by the project.
Boost for the Silverburn Flaxmill
The Silverburn Flaxmill project has been given a real boost with news of a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of just over £3.47 million to bring the derelict building back to life. The project will also create around 130 jobs, including construction trainee placements for local young people, and roles for people experiencing mental health problems. Activity plans include volunteering activities that will specifically target groups from under-represented communities. Fundraising for the project has been supported by the Silverburn Flaxmill and Buy a Brick crowdfunding campaigns which has raised nearly £40,000 for the project. There is still time to donate to help support this project here
Renfrewshire Witch Hunt 1697
On International Women’s Day, 8 March 2022, it is anticipated that First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon will apologise to those accused of witchcraft in Scotland over the centuries. To mark this local charity Renfrewshire Witch Hunt 1697 will embark on a project to build a memorial garden in the west end of Paisley. The hope is to deliver a pleasant greenspace that will be a place of remembrance in honour of the seven innocent citizens of Renfrewshire who were convicted and sentenced to death for witchcraft in 1697. The local charity is reaching out for volunteers to get involved.
Contaminated railway yard blossoms into community hub
A contaminated former railway station yard has now been transformed into a 'super rich' area for wildlife. Since opening in 2007, the land has been transformed into a vibrant haven for wildlife and is popular with school groups. The award-winning ‘Organic Growers of Fairlie’ group is continuing to expand and has more plans for their sustainable community garden.
Pupils plant 700 trees at Scotland’s largest district park
Winchburgh Developments welcomed over 100 pupils from Winchburgh and Holy Family primary schools to plant a further 700 trees in the Auldcathie District Park in Winchburgh. Horticultural students from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), helped them to make the most of this practical outdoor learning. The saplings were gifted to the Winchburgh Community Growers by conservation charity I Dig Trees.
Kilbarnan Smile community tree planting
On a weekend last December local volunteer group Kilbarchan Smile completed the planting of 345 native broadleaved trees at Callochant Farm on the edge of the Kilbarchan village. The trees were sourced from the Woodland Trust as part of their ‘Big Climate Fightback’ campaign.
UK and international news
#NatureForEveryone call from UK wildlife campaigners
A new #NatureForEveryone campaign has been launched, calling for the legal right to access nature for all. Despite evidence that accessible, nature-rich spaces boost our physical and mental wellbeing, and reduce mortality, one in three people in England cannot access nature near their home. The three demands are: to make equal access to nature a core test of levelling up, to make it a legal requirement for developers and public bodies to provide access to nature-rich local spaces for everyone, and to provide funding for locally-accessible nature-rich spaces.
Nature visuals: diversity in images of England’s green and natural spaces
A report commissioned by Natural England, highlights the lack of diversity in images of people enjoying outdoor activities, the impact this has both on people and on climate engagement, and how to make imagery more inclusive and impactful. The guidance is for anyone wanting to tell more diverse stories of people and nature, including communications professionals, academics, and everyone working in the outdoor and photography sectors.
Massive solar farm plans for Plymouth's old landfill site
Following extensive community consultation, Plymouth City Council and local charity Plymouth Energy Community (PEC) have submitted a joint planning application to develop a new approximately 13MWh community-owned solar farm on the old landfill site at Chelson Meadow, which could power 3,800 homes a year and increase the renewable energy capacity in the city.
Singapore pioneering a greener urban environment
Singapore has a reputation as a City in Nature. Urban planners and designers have chosen to weave nature all through the metropolis incorporating flowers, cascading vertical gardens, or verdant partitions. Pioneering actions happening in Singapore to create an extra biodiverse metropolis offer a blueprint for how different cities can undertake comparable initiatives for the future.
Chicago vacant lots converted to community gardens
From 100 feet in the air, Harambee Community Garden in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago looks like the centre of a doughnut. A rectangular greenspace the size of five city lots is surrounded by two churches, a fire station, a senior home, a town hall, a library, and a high school. The land once stood empty and desolate, like many vacant lots in Chicago, but now there are beds of vegetables and fruits. After 12 years, the Harambee Community Garden can provide lessons about how it was able to last this long and where it's headed from here.
Dubai Municipality planted 170,000 trees during 2021
Dubai Municipality planted more than 170,000 trees in Dubai’s areas, roads and squares during 2021, at a rate of 466 trees per day, bringing the size of the green areas to about 43.83 million square metres within the areas under its supervision - an additional 2.83 million square metres during the year.
Who benefits from nature in European cities?
This report from the European Environment Agency reveals social inequalities in access to urban green and blue spaces across Europe. The briefing reviews the evidence of socio-economic and demographic inequalities in access to the health benefits derived from urban green and blue spaces across Europe. It also showcases examples of green spaces that were designed to meet the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged social groups.
Twins studied to test genetic desire to be in nature
This study of identical and non-identical twins shows that a person’s desire to be in nature, and how often they experience it, are influenced by both genes and personal experiences. It suggests, by comparing twin types, there is likely to be a genetic component in predispositions towards nature and likelihood to visit natural spaces.
Measuring nature exposure and quality of life
This Lithuanian study aimed to test the mediating effects of nature restorativeness, stress, and nature connectedness in the association between nature exposure and quality of life (QoL). It found that nature exposure was associated with enhanced QoL through nature restorativeness and lower stress, and concluded enhancing nature exposure and nature connectedness might help strengthen QoL in urban and rural inhabitants.
Greenspaces assist orientation in hospitals
The study found that the inside of hospitals with visible greenspaces were easier to navigate than the same environment without window views. It concluded that hospital greenspaces located at key decision points positively attract people’s attention, helping them find their way and enhancing mood states.
20 minute neighbourhoods in Australia
A practical 20 Minute Neighbourhood tool was developed to find out where they occur in two Australian state capital cities. The analysis indicated that a small percentage of the population, 5.5% in Melbourne and 7.6% in Adelaide, live in a 20 Minute Neighbourhood. The tool, which can be used to assess benefits and barriers, was created by layering 5 spatial domains required for classification: 1) healthy food; 2) recreational resources; 3) community resources; 4) public open space; and 5) public transport.
Web planning tool for conservation of urban wildlife
The study and design of a web based ecological modelling tool conducted in Northeast Glasgow and the Seven Lochs Wetland Park found habitat suitability for water voles increased with proximity to greenspaces. The digital tool, modelling habitat connectivity, is currently being used by ecologists to develop a Conservation Action Plan for a species of high conservation concern. The idea is to fully implement this model within the planning system to inform decision-making. The most updated version of the interactive tool can be found here
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
Rewilding Innovation Fund – Rewilding Britain
Focusing on community engagement in rewilding - giving priority to projects which are following community ownership models, implementing community co-design and developing the health benefits of rewilding, such as social prescribing. Will fund 15 – 20 projects during this round, with up to £15,000 for each individual project. Projects must be working at scale (40 ha+) and members of Rewilding Network Deadline 31 March
Sport Facilities Fund – Sport Scotland
Supports capital projects that create or improve places where people take part in sport and physical activity. Targeted towards projects that have the greatest impact on Participation and Progression. Awards of up to £100,000 are available for sports facility projects within club & communities, school & education or performance sport environments. Deadline 1 April
Investing in Communities Fund 2023 - 2026 – Scottish Government
Expected to open in April, with a very short window for applying, the advice is to do preparatory work now with partner organisations and community. Grants of up to £350,000 in total will be available over the 3-year period from 1 Apr 2023 to 31 Mar 2026. The fund is designed to support organisations based in the places they serve delivering activity across all four of the following areas: tackling poverty and inequality, including child poverty, developing and sustaining place based approaches, community-led regeneration, and ensuring a just transition to net zero. Eligible applicant organisations include, community/voluntary organisations, registered charities, Community Councils, social housing associations, social enterprises.
Greener Spaces, Fairer Places – Faith in Community
Grants of up to £500 to support local faith groups and related organisations in communities across Scotland in taking small-scale, local actions that address the link between climate change and poverty. For example, food growing, community gardening, community clean-ups. An additional top-up grant of £200 will be made available to experienced groups that can provide up to four hours of mentoring to other local groups that wish to learn more about actions for climate justice.
Climate Action £500 - North Highlands and Islands Climate Hub
Small grants to community groups for community engagement or seed funding for a community climate action project. Available to existing and emerging community groups in Highlands and Northern Isles. Hub can provide support from staff in community engagement and project development as well as funding.
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 issues – 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!
Social Enterprise Net Zero Transition Fund (Loan) – Social Investment Scotland
Loans from £10,000 for social sector organisations to support activities that will reduce carbon footprint - such as developing or moving to renewable energy sources; scaling local food production and supply; minimising or re-purposing food waste.
jobs and volunteering
Community Link Worker - Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust
The Community Link Worker will work as part of two practice teams (St Leonards and Braefoot) in South-East Edinburgh, to provide 1:1 person-centred and practical support to people in contact with the GP practice team. Closing date: 9 March
Biodiversity Coordinator - Fife Coast and Countryside Trust (FCCT)
FCCT promotes understanding and care for the natural environment; and are seeking a ‘Biodiversity Coordinator’ who will be an integral part in driving their work forward. Closing date: 13 March
Community Programme Manager – The Hidden Gardens
The Manager will develop and manage a range of offers to the local community. This will include regular workshops and classes, larger scale community events, marketing and promotion as well as leading on delivering the arts strategy. Closing date:13 March
Communications Manager – The Orchard project
As a communications specialist and champion, the communication manger will work alongside a team of nineteen staff across England, Wales and Scotland. Closing date:15 March
Green Health Project Worker - Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action
DVVA is looking for a self-motivated, team-orientated and enthusiastic individual to support the development of the Green Health Prescription project in Dundee. Closing date: 18 March
events and training
Scotland’s Climate Festival, online
In March the Climate Festival, run by Keep Scotland Beautiful, is celebrating Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022 with a selection of online and in-person events. Catch up with previous events on the Keep Scotland Beautiful YouTube channel
1 – 5 March - Food and Climate Cafés
Glasgow Community Food Network are running Food & Climate Cafes every three months over the next year to build an action plan for local food systems change by exploring together how to view the future in different ways with interactive and discursive workshops.
2 – 30 March - Paths For All webinar series
Free Webinars to help path managers to promote walking opportunities and enhance path network for nature and potential impacts of climate change.
2 – 23 Mar - Hidden Gardens, Glasgow - What’s On
2 / 9 / 23 March – Interested in Gardening? for 16 – 19yrs - learn gardening skills, find out about volunteering opportunities and local courses in horticulture
11 / 15 March – Green Thumb Gardening Volunteers discuss volunteering opportunities and answer any questions Contact to join this group
3 - 24 Mar every Thursday morning - Land Reuse Month
The Scottish Land Commission is hosting a series of events to explore how to support delivery of land reform in the public sector. Tackling vacant and derelict land is essential to quality place-making, bringing numerous benefits to local authorities and communities.
4 Mar – Amenity Forum – update on weed, pest and disease amenity management
Providing up to date information for the Scottish amenity and sports sectors on current issues, important policy updates and change as well as the challenges facing those operating in this sector. To register interest and receive a link to join the event email
4 Mar – 22 Apr - Outdoor and Woodland Learning Scotland
Half-day courses allow participants the opportunity to increase skills and ask questions about how to use woodlands for groups in sustainable and engaging ways. Please note these courses are ONLY for those that have undertaken Forest Kindergarten training OR are Early Years practitioners.
4 – 23 March - Dan Pupletts Woodland Ecology
25 March – 22 April - Kate Hookham's Shelters and Ropes
Further information email
7 – 10 Mar – Generations Working Together Intergenerational Conference
Day 4 Spaces and Places includes a webinar on tackling climate change using an intergenerational approach.
7 – 11 Mar – Trellis Seminar Series
This 2nd seminar series brings together experts from different garden settings around the world who use gardening to support people’s wellbeing, including specific therapy and recovery gardens, as well as looking at national initiatives to support therapeutic horticulture.
9, 17 & 29 Mar – Remembering Together – drop-in sessions
Online drop-in sessions for artists/creative practitioners interested in applying for the Remembering Together programme on Wed 9th (2-3), Thur 17th (11-12) and 29th (11-12)
9 Mar - New skills for new jobs: NBS and agriculture
Webinar exploring how to scale up urban and peri-urban agricultural trough NBS, creating new job opportunities and skills. Talking with experts who will introduce their experiences, pointing out challenges they faced and opportunities to be seized.
10 Mar - Protecting British Pollinators: Halting the Decline of Bee Populations and Addressing Serious Threats to Biodiversity
This symposium will provide an opportunity to raise awareness of the serious threats which face pollinators, allowing key stakeholders to analyse current government policy, develop strategies to reverse the decline of British pollinators, and share best practice in the protection and management of bee populations.
16 Mar – Co-impact Launch
Join the Connecting Nature team at the University of ACoruña and Glasgow City Council to see how Co-Impact can help you design your impact evaluation plan and measure your projects' impact on health and wellbeing, social cohesion, the environment and the economy. The tool is also designed to raise awareness of the importance of data in decision making.
URBAN GreenUP - Nature Based Solutions Webinar Series
The URBAN GreenUP NBS Webinar Series presents some of the most interesting and innovative Nature-Based Solutions implemented in the cities of Valladolid (Spain), Liverpool (UK) and Izmir (Turkey) as part of the URBAN GreenUP project.
16 Mar - Singular Green Infrastructure
6 Apr - Water Interventions
19 Mar –Sowing the Seeds of Community – Spring Equinox celebration
Join the team at the Salisbury Centre, Edinburgh to celebrate the completion of the founding year of the Seed Library, come along and discover how to use the new library and learn about seed saving and food growing.
21 Mar – Lothian Green Social Prescribing Forum
Booking is now open for the first face to face Lothian Green Social Prescribing Forum hosted by Edinburgh and Lothians Heath Foundation and greenspace scotland. Forum participants will develop the community of practice for Green Social Prescribing in the Lothians. It will cover key learning points from the Green Social Prescribing Report and hear from people who are at the forefront of this emerging practice.
22-24 Mar - Mitigating the Climate and Biodiversity Emergency CPD Conference
Landscape Institute conference debating imperative actions, exemplar practice, core skills and thought leadership around mitigating the climate emergency. This CPD conference will bring together natural and built environment experts. Content includes exploring innovation around parks and urban greenspace as viable resources in the fight against Climate Change.
29 Mar - Net Zero Scotland Conference, Edinburgh
Discover how innovation can help the public sector and others meet the Net Zero Nation challenge, through key-note speakers, expert panel discussions and case studies.
28 – 29 Apr - Connecting Nature Impact Summit Genk 2022
This hybrid event, and the final summit in the Connecting Nature Summit series, will demonstrate how nature-based solutions can provide a positive impact for urban environments and protect biodiversity.
Climate Emergency Training
Keep Scotland Beautiful offers a range of Climate Emergency Training courses, helping people understand the science behind the climate emergency and empowering them with the knowledge to make changes in their work and personal lives to reduce their carbon footprint. The courses, tailored to each audience's needs, look at the impacts of climate change on Scotland and the responsibilities and opportunities that will come as the nation strives towards Net Zero by 2045.