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Current guidance on accessing local greenspaces

Welcome to our December ebulletin. The days are getting shorter, so it’s time to make the most of daylight hours to visit parks and greenspaces on your doorstep

The current guidance is that parks and greenspaces continue to remain open for unrestricted exercise with physical distancing. People are permitted to use public outdoor spaces for recreational purposes. Stand-alone facilities or communal spaces within parks such as playgrounds, sports pitches and public gardens continue to be open.
In November, each local authority area in Scotland was allocated a COVID protection level from 0 to 4 (sometimes referred to as 'tiers'). The Scottish Government has launched a postcode checker so people can confirm the level at which the area they live in has been placed. Special guidance was recently published for the festive period
The Covid-19 guidance for community food growing spaces has been updated to reflect the latest updates to the regulations and the restrictions on travel that were put into law on 20 November. Check the guidance here.  
Social Farms and Gardens Scotland are providing further guidance and support for community growing groups, some of which can be found here   

greenspace scotland news

Pathways to Recovery: Wellbeing and Resilience
We were pleased to see that greenspace scotland’s guide to Managing Parks and Greenspaces During COVID-19  features in the World Urban Parks' report Pathways to Recovery: Wellbeing and Resilience. World The WUP report outlines key principles and partnerships cities should consider and incorporate as they approach a ‘post-COVID-19 ‘recovery period. It features an international collection of resources, insights and community perspectives; greenspace scotland's guide is featured in the Global Recovery Plans & Frameworks section as an example for the UK. There also examples from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States.
Local decision making – Tesco Bags of Help
During October and November, our Community Enablers have been travelling virtually all over Scotland while sitting at home on their laptops. Tesco Community Champions and staff from Kirkwall to Kirkcudbright have been involved in virtual shortlisting meetings for the Tesco Bags of Help Children and Young People round – deciding which projects should be awarded funding. Due to COVID-19 customer voting in store is not possible so getting the views of local store staff on what matters in their communities is even more important; this is a really positive aspect of the Tesco Bags of Help programme.
Nature-based solutions Innovation Summit - 23-25 March 2021
Our natural urban ecosystems are fragile and fragmented. We need to accelerate the shift to sustainable, greener cities that deliver for their citizens using nature-based solutions. Join us as we explore the challenges and opportunities and hear more about innovations emerging to support the design, implementation and stewardship of nature-based solutions in cities. We’re delighted to be working with colleagues in Glasgow City Council to host the first Innovation Summit for the Connecting Nature programme here in Glasgow (albeit virtually). You can register your interest now and we will keep you updated as the Summit programme develops.


MyParkScotland news

“Buy a Brick” for Christmas
MyParkScotland is delighted to work with Silverburn Park in Fife to launch their “Buy a Brick” campaign. The aim is to raise £1,500 by Christmas towards the re-pointing and renovation of the Flax Mill’s 30,000 iconic red bricks. “Buying” a virtual brick will help take a step closer to achieving the fundraising target for the transformation of Silverburn Park’s Flax Mill.

Project of the month

Project of the Month: Safer Outside - The Bowling Green, Pollokshields
How do communities continue to come together and support each other in a safe way during the pandemic? In Pollokshields, Urban Roots and Pollokshields Trust are working together to ensure that local people can continue to access the services of voluntary groups by creating an indoor-outdoor meeting space in the shape of a tipi on the Bowling Green greenspace
Emma Iller from Urban Roots says “The response has been incredible in terms of use, interest and local support. We have school groups out through much of the week, the YCSA youth group meeting for John Muir Award, after school free play, volunteering, garden design and implementation. There are also solar panels being installed and Soul Riders moving in to one corner with a cargo bike project.”
Urban Roots got the idea for the tipi from a Learning Through Landscapes conference where they demonstrated using the lightweight tent material tipis being put up as outdoor classrooms for the day.
greenspace scotland will be featuring Urban Roots’ activities as part of our Safer outside – using our spaces more programme   If you’ve been taking indoor activities outside, we’d love to hear from you email 

scotland news

Fourth National Planning Framework position statement
The NPF4 Position Statement sets out the Scottish Government's current thinking on the issues that will need to be addressed when preparing Scotland's fourth National Planning Framework (NPF4). It is expected that NPF4 will focus on achieving the following four key outcomes: Net Zero Emissions; Resilient Communities; A Wellbeing Economy; and Better, Greener Places. The Position Statement considers these outcomes in turn and sets out in more detail the main issues that were raised during early engagement; the emerging thinking on spatial priorities; and the potential changes to national planning policies that Scottish Government are considering. At greenspace scotland, we were delighted to see many of the proposals we outlined in our submission to the Call for Ideas on NPF4 included in the Position Statement.
Designing for a Changing Climate: Planning Reform Report
Architecture & Design Scotland has been working with the Scottish Government Planning and Architecture Division to explore climate change in relation to place planning and to provide insights to inform planning reform. This follows on from the pilot project A&DS undertook considering a whole place approach to designing for a changing climate. The aim of this work was to identify and set out key messages on place planning for decarbonisation for future development planning in Scotland, focusing on national, regional and local levels.
How to use greenspaces for early learning and childcare
The Thrive Outdoors team at Inspiring Scotland have published a suite of information and resources on how to utilise greenspaces for outdoor play and learning.

Grow and Learn in Nature award
With many gardens and projects currently closed, the Grow and Learn in Nature Award (GLiN) from the Caley offers people the opportunity to continue to develop their gardening and nature skills at home. This could be creating bug hotels in the garden, growing plants for pollinators on your balcony or even herb planters on your window.

Scottish projects round-up

Glasgow City Region Climate Adaptation Strategy consultation
Climate Ready Clyde is developing Glasgow City Region’s first Climate Adaptation Strategy. The strategy will seek to ensure Glasgow City Region’s economy, society and environment is not only prepared for, but continues to flourish in the face of the impacts arising from the climate crisis. The draft strategy and accompanying Environmental Report are currently open for public consultation until 5pm on 24th December 2020.

Give your views on Glasgow's Climate Actions
Glasgow’s Climate Emergency Implementation Plan is out for consultation and they want to hear your views on the plan to get to carbon neutrality by 2030.

Glasgow National Park City - looking for your projects    
How can Glasgow become greener, healthier and wilder? The National Park City group has completed the first draft of the proposal for Glasgow to become a National Park City and is now looking for projects to help deliver across the 10 vision statements.

Glasgow - A Low Carbon Sustainable Food City for All
A new project aiming to transform Glasgow’s food system and reduce its impact on the climate crisis has received £629k of National Lottery funding. ‘A Low Carbon Sustainable Food City for All’ will be led by Glasgow Community Food Network in partnership with Urban Roots, Glasgow Eco Trust, The Space, St Paul’s Youth Forum and Central and West Integration Network. Building on the aims of the new Glasgow City Food Plan the project will improve food education, establish a local green assembly, increase the amount of land being used for urban agriculture and mobilise young people to become climate leaders.

North Lanarkshire Parks for the Future
The 10-year Parks for the Future programme is paving the way for work to start on delivering improvements at Palacerigg, Drumpellier and Strathclyde Country Parks. The programme will create new opportunities for play, exercise and wildlife conservation offering benefits to residents through improved physical and mental health and wellbeing, opportunities for learning about local wildlife and heritage, and encouraging active travel.

Scottish projects celebrated at Landscape Institute Awards
It was great to see the achievements of many Scottish projects recognised at this year’s Landscape Institute Awards, including category winners: RaeburnFarquharBowen for their work at Forth Valley Hospital and Larbert Woods (Building with Nature National Award), erz Ltd for The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice Glasgow (Excellence in Landscape Design), Urban Movement Limited and Glasgow City Council for Sauchiehall Street Avenue (Excellence in Sustainable Infrastructure). Scottish finalists included Atkins for Edinburgh Sustainable Rainwater Management Guidance (Excellence in Landscape Planning and Assessment - finalist) and rankinfraser landscape architecture for DundasHill Landscape and Public Realm Framework in association with Scottish Canals, Glasgow City Region City Deal and igloo (Excellence in Place Regeneration – finalist)

international news

Greening Barcelona’s streets
Barcelona's city council has announced its plans to transform one in three streets in its Eixample district into green, car-free public spaces to tackle air pollution. Under the scheme, 21 streets and 21 road junctions will be converted into small parks and public squares – creating 33.4 hectares of land "where the pedestrian and the clean air are protagonists". The transformation, which is expected to take 10 years, is an attempt to curb excessive pollution in the Catalan capital and make it a healthier, safer and more sustainable place to live.

And greening Barcelona’s school grounds
Civic leaders in Barcelona have embarked on an ambitious new project to transform school environments and turn them into safe, healthy and less-polluting spaces. Protegim Les Escoles (We’re Protecting Schools) is the city council’s plan to revamp 200 schools in the area by 2023, by improving access, reducing traffic and expanding green areas.

The lost art of play: a healthy solution for small cities in crisis?
As Europe faces a second wave of Covid-19, towns and cities are looking for ways to encourage people of all ages to stay healthy, happy and connected. This article focuses on play for all citizens and explores what inspiration we can take from ideas that have been tried so far in some small-but-resourceful URBACT towns and cities. With examples from communities in Croatia, Spain and Italy.

Communities for Future
This online platform features many inspiring projects and replicable examples to encourage communities to take action for a healthier, fairer and sustainable world. Mainstreaming regenerative and transformative community-led action on climate change and sustainability. They are encouraging groups to share their stories of change and action. It is being spearheaded by ECOLISE, the European network for community-led initiatives on climate change and sustainability.


Consultation on draft research strategy for environment and natural resources
The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on a draft strategy for the next cycle of research on the environment, natural resources and agriculture which starts in 2022. Pages 31-32 cover research on ‘Use of Outdoors and Greenspace’ setting out research goals around establishing a comprehensive picture of the mechanisms through which different population groups derive benefits from greenspaces, and understanding the barriers that limit access for some population groups and the incentives that might help promote behavioural/ attitudinal shift in them. The consultation closes on 14 December
The importance of greenspace for mental health
Public greenspaces were officially designated in the 19th century, informed by a belief that they might provide health benefits. This paper outlines modern research evidence that greenspace can play a pivotal role in population-level mental health.
Keeping calm in natural landscapes
A recent US study found that people's attachment to the wilderness can be explained by their basic psychological needs for autonomy, relatedness and competence. Additional research links place attachment, specifically to areas where trees are plentiful and to feelings of wellbeing, suggesting that spending time in natural areas can provide positive mental and physical health outcomes and improve healing.

 Childhood greenspace associated with lower risk of psychiatric disorders in adulthood
This research shows a consistent association between higher levels of greenspace during childhood and a lower risk of developing any of a multitude of psychiatric disorders later in life. Living at the lowest levels of greenspace compared with living at the highest levels of greenspace was associated with 15 to 55% higher risk, except for intellectual disability and schizoaffective disorder. These findings contribute to our understanding of the urban environment as an important environmental risk factor for mental health and can guide the design of healthy city environments, as well as institutions and programs affecting childhood life, for example, school systems.
Gardening at school can tackle child obesity
This London-based study has demonstrated how integrating vegetable gardening into the school curriculum can address both low activity levels and healthy eating.
Smart cities and urban horticulture
From edible landscapes to hydroponics, this study explores how traditional, innovative, and modern cropping systems could be adopted to develop new approaches to urban horticulture to improve food security, support community livelihoods, benefiting health and the environment.

How does green infrastructure impact on urban heat island formation?
Surrey’s Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) studied differences in ambient temperature between three different landforms (central urban area, an urban park, and suburban residential area). They explored how a UK town would be affected if its urban landscape included different types of Green Infrastructure i.e. trees, green roofs and grasslands. The team found that trees are the best solution for the reduction in temperature spikes because they can better shade surfaces and influence aerodynamic mixing of air in the atmosphere caused by enhanced turbulence. Green roofs can also act as an additional mitigation measure for the reduction of UHI at city scale if large areas are covered.
Understanding the interactions between climate adaptation and mitigation measures
This literature review exploring the co-benefits and synergies between adaptation and mitigation measures finds that green infrastructure measures show greater potential for offering co-benefits, measures related to urban greening and transport are more likely to provide synergies, and adaptation needs to be considered at parity with mitigation.
Rapid round up of greenspace research from ScienceDirect
In November, ScienceDirect published several papers relating to greenspace and its impact on how people live their lives – follow the links from greenspace scotland website:
  • How do childhood nature experiences and negative emotions towards nature influence preferences for outdoor activity among young adults?
  • Health-oriented vegetation community design: Innovation in urban green space to support respiratory health
  • “It made me feel brighter in myself” - the health and well-being impacts of a residential front garden horticultural intervention
  • The role of ‘nativeness’ in urban greening to support animal biodiversity

Have you used sheep wool to prepare or repair paths? 
Llais y Goedwig (Community Woodlands) Wales is currently developing a feasibility study for using sheep wool as a substrate for accessible paths in woodland settings. They have access to wool (it is Wales after all!) and would like to work withgroups and organisations cross the UK that could offer their knowledge and experience in this method of path making. Contact Liz Mutch to find out more

funding and support

Each month we feature a small selection of funding opportunities open to parks, greenspace, green infrastructure and community projects. Please check with individual funders to make sure there are no changes to deadlines and eligibility due to covid-19. Visit the funding section of our website to find out about lots more funding opportunities.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund - phased reopening of project funding
The National Lottery Heritage Fund are starting a phased reopening of project funding through their National Lottery Grants for Heritage. In the first phase, beginning 25 November, they will resume accepting applications for grants from £3,000-£10,000 and £10,000-£100,000. In the second phase, beginning 8 February 2021, they will resume accepting applications for grants from £100,000-£250,000 and £250,000-£5m.
Scottish Government - Community and Third Sector Recovery Programme
The programme is split into two parts: the Communities Recovery Fund  and the Adapt and Thrive Programme. The Communities Recovery Fund is a grant programme and Adapt and Thrive will provide wrap-around advice and support as well as grants and loans. Both programmes are open to community organisations, social enterprises and wider third sector organisations with turnovers under £500k. Deadline for applications: March 2021
The National Lottery Scottish Land Fund – first stage applications open
The current round of the Scottish Land Fund closed to full applications in August. TNL are not currently accepting applications for land, building or asset purchases. However, they can still consider first stage applications to help communities develop their ideas or do preliminary work around taking ownership of assets. To discuss what they might be able to support, voluntary or community organisations can get in touch with the Scottish Land Fund team at The National Lottery Community Fund on or 0141 846 0447.
B&Q Foundation
Grants of up to £5000 available. The B&Q Foundation has been set up to support projects and provide grants to registered charities in the UK and Ireland to improve homes and community space for those that need it most.
Morrisons Foundation
Grants up to £25,000 to charities for projects making a positive difference to communities.
Woodward Charitable Trust
The Trustees particularly look to fund projects that help families and young people and that are aiming to improve the life chances of the beneficiaries. They like projects that promote community cohesion and the development of skills that will change the outlook and outcomes for the users. Organisations that promote volunteering and involve both past and present users in their operations or management are encouraged. They only consider applications for core costs.
Food for Life Get Togethers
The organisation offers small grants of £150 from June 2020 to April 2021. The grants are to support community led food growing, cooking and sharing activity and Get Togethers.
Tree Council Branching Out Fund – grants for tree planting
Open to schools and community groups to deliver well planned tree projects - planting trees, creating orchards, hedging etc. £300 - £1500 can be applied for projects planting between November 2020 and March 2021.

jobs and volunteering

Glasgow Community Food Network: The low carbon food city – 8 vacancies
The Low Carbon Food City project is a partnership approach to climate action through food systems change. The project builds on years of work carried out by the community food sector and is framed around key actions in the new Glasgow City Food Plan. It will enable communities to be actively involved in creating a sustainable, fair and healthy food future, ensuring participation from the ground up. Core themes of the project are community participation, urban agriculture, food education, campaigning, and COP26. The project is looking for a Project manager, Project Coordinator, Project Support Officer and five Community Activators. Closing date for all roles: 7 December 2020
Arts & Business Scotland - Administration Co-ordinator
A&BS are looking for an experienced Administration Co-ordinator, currently based in their Edinburgh office. They are looking for an all-rounder, with exceptional organising and multi-tasking skills, a sound knowledge and experience of databases, websites and social media. Closing date: 9 December 2020
Community Energy Scotland (CES) - Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
The CEO is central to CES continuing function as Scotland’s leading community energy development organisation. The role requires a high level of integrity, commitment, well-developed leadership skills, and excellent foresight and judgement. Key elements of the role include, ensuring a consistently strong governance framework, providing a clear sense of organisational purpose and direction, and maintaining a high level of staff and board confidence. Closing date: 11 December 2020
Scottish Wildlife Trust - Co-opted Trustee
Scotland’s leading nature conservation charity is looking to co-opt a trustee with extensive experience in nature conservation to reinforce its governing body’s knowledge and expertise. Closing date: noon 11 December 2020
The Orchard Project - Scotland business development consultant
The business development consultant will play a central role in creating and developing new leads for funding The Orchard Project’s work and new projects. This is a short term consultancy role, working with the Head of Fundraising and Scotland Project Managers to map out fundraising prospects, develop leads and gain introductions to relevant decision makers in local/national government, and write funding bids for Scotland projects. Closing date:13 December 2020

events and training

8 Dec - Setting up a Community Bike Share Scheme
Are you a community group in Scotland keen to share a fleet of bikes for the use of your community? How to share the bikes? How to promote the scheme? What does success look like? CoMoUK’s webinar on setting up a community bike share scheme in Scotland, where they will try and answer some of these questions
8 Dec - Participatory Budgeting for Climate Change
People Powered have announced new course where participants will learn how to engage more community members in addressing climate change together.
16 Dec - Monthly webinars from Social Farms & Gardens UK (free to members)
The theme for December is Governance: How should we set up our organisation?
28 January – Launch of the Young Placechangers Toolkit
greenspace scotland and Youth Scotland online launch and information event for the youth sector and place professionals wanting to engage young people in place decisions. Register your interest by emailing Angela Houghton 
3 – 4 February - Trees, People and the Built Environment
Every three years, the Institute of Chartered Foresters partners with academic institutions and chartered institutes to host an international cross-discipline conference on urban greenspace. Trees, People and the Built Environment (TPBE) provides a platform for greater understanding and exploration as researchers from across the globe showcase their work in urban greenspace. #TPBE4 is an online conference
Save the date: Nature-based solutions Innovation Summit – 23-25 March 2021
greenspace scotland are a partner on the Horizon 2020 Connecting Nature project along with Glasgow City Council and a host of European partners. On 23-25 March 2021 we will be hosting a virtual Nature-based solutions Innovation Summit so get the dates in your diary now.
Ongoing - Get Outside
The outdoors is still open! And Ordnance Survey want to help you discover the best Britain has to offer and the benefits that outdoor activity can bring. Make a start by joining the GetOutside Challenge and tick off a bit of outdoor fun each day with our free downloadable activity calendar.
Ongoing – Trellis Online Learning platform
Bringing you Seasonal Gardening Activities training - practical training online to help you engage clients in outdoor and indoor gardening activities all year round, as well as adapt activities to your client’s needs. If interested email
Ongoing – Volunteer Scotland online courses
Working with the Open University Volunteer Scotland have created a number of free online courses to encourage thinking about the volunteer voice and restarting volunteering programmes.
Ongoing - Learning through Landscapes - outdoor learning online support groups during COVID-19
Free virtual forum to guide families and educators on outdoor learning. Two groups on Facebook – one for families and one for educators and teachers – delivers FREE weekly outdoor learning and play activities and training including: tutorial videos, downloadable resources, learning plans, open discussion & Q & As.

Watch Again

How to make cities #GreenerHealthierWilder! Voices from around the World
The National Park City Foundation have made the three inspiring and motivating sessions from their how to make cities #GreenerHealthierWilder! event available online
Race to Zero Dialogues
On 9-19 November the Race to Zero Dialogues, highlighted and discussed how entire sectors are already rapidly transitioning to a zero-carbon future. All sessions are available to watch again and each day covered a different topic ranging from energy and transport to nature-based solutions and health. The Dialogues provide critical input to the UNFCCC Climate Dialogues from 23 Nov – Dec 4, which are advancing work to governing the rules of the Paris Agreement. Together, both Dialogues set the stage for the Anniversary of the Paris Agreement on 12 December as the world embarks on the ‘Race to Zero’ towards COP26 in Glasgow during Nov 2021.
Keep up to date with greenspace events throughout the month here 
Can’t wait until the next greenspace scotland ebulletin - keep up to date with all the news on our website and via our social media channels Twitter Facebook and Instagram 
greenspace scotland is a registered Scottish Charity (No. SC034078) and a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in Scotland (No. 236105).

greenspace scotland provides this ebulletin as a rapid information service for organisations and individuals with an interest in greenspace. Whilst every care is taken to ensure that the information included is correct, greenspace scotland cannot accept liability for any omissions or inaccuracies and does not take responsibility for the quality of any services or products mentioned nor for the content of any external websites.

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