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greenspace scotland news
Ideas Fund supports Young Placechangers projects
It was with great excitement that the Ideas Fund Advisory Board met in early July to review the applications for the Young Placechangers Ideas Fund. Three very different projects were funded. In Aberlour, Speyside, a group of young people want to change their place (the world!) by changing the community’s attitude to plastic. One of the ways they plan to do this is through setting up an Eco-refill station. In Glasgow’s Govanhill, the Young Advisor group of the Rumpus Room are involving other users of their new premises in the transformation of a disused carpark into a community space. And, also in Glasgow, the Turf Youth group and pupils from St. Pauls High School are working with two artists to improve access and promote exploration of Damshot Woods.
We still have some Ideas Funding available, so if you have a placechanging idea and a project led by young people please get in touch by emailing Angela Houghton our Young Placechangers Development Officer email
Bags of Help funding in Scotland over the £10 million mark
Tesco Bags of Help has delivered over £10million to 3,322 community projects across Scotland. Celebrate and be inspired by a selection of Bags of Help activities in greenspaces from Shetland in the north, to the Mull of Galloway in the south; from the far east of Fraserburgh to the wild West of Barra. Thematic case studies show where Bags of Help has supported biodiversity; green health; access; gardening and last, but not least, young people…there’s a future for greenspaces!
ParkPower receives CARES grant award
We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded a CARES Innovation grant through the Energy Saving Trust and Local Energy Scotland to extend the ParkPower programme. With the funding, matched by contributions from Falkirk Council, Falkirk Community Trust and North Lanarkshire Council, we will undertake an Options Appraisals in five parks.
Catch ParkPower presenting
ParkPower will be at the Holyrood Asset Management Conference in Edinburgh in Sept. The conference will focus on how Scotland’s public sector can make the best use of its physical assets and estates. ParkPower’s John Maslen will be highlighting issues around asset management and sustainability.
More Glasgow parks added!
We are delighted to have added more parks and greenspaces in Glasgow to the ParkExplore on the MyParkScotland website. Through the website you can now discover 139 parks and greenspaces across Glasgow – visit to find the next park in Glasgow to visit.
Across the MyParkScotland site you can discover 470 parks and greenspaces across Scotland – visit to start your park and greenspace search.
Love Parks? You can support Scotland’s Parks Endowment Fund by making a donation online Thanks to match-funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, every £10 donated with Gift Aid becomes a £25 investment in the Endowment Fund.
To make a text donation to the park endowment simply text “PARK” to 70450 to donate £5. This costs £5 plus your standard message rate. Alternatively you can opt to give any whole amount up to £20 by texting PARK followed by the amount you want to donate.
Supporting crowdfunds and parks
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 – take a look here
MyParkScotland in your area?
The area covered by parks listings is growing…there are nearly 500 parks on the site with more being added. Want to see parks, greenspaces, activities and events in your area listed on MyParkScotland? Or looking to raise funds for you parks and greenspace project? Get in touch with Ian Goodman
Project of the month
Green Network Blueprint making connections
At the Green Network Blueprint launch Max Hislop, Programme Manager for the GCV Green Network Partnership, pointed out he had noticed something was missing on long drives – the many insects that used to get stuck to the car windscreen. The loss of this minor driving inconvenience has a very major impact, as highlighted in the latest UN global assessment report estimating that over 1 million species on the planet are at risk of extinction. The Green Network Blueprint’s ambition is to take action on this issue, but it is not just about biodiversity; it is also very much about people and place.
The project aims to turn Glasgow City Region ‘green’ with 500 miles of walking and cycling routes, together with plans for hundreds of new living spaces for wildlife. The Blueprint presents a masterplan for the creation of a Strategic Green Network across the Glasgow City Region, incorporating an Access Network and a Habitat Network. The Access Network should aid off-road movement through greenspaces and green routes. It will improve links between places people want to go such as shops, places of work and parks and offer opportunities for increasing levels of active travel. The Habitat Network will link up existing wildlife habitats creating new pathways to allow species more freedom of movement and encourage an increase in biodiversity across the area.
The project has already highlighted hundreds of opportunities to create path and habitat networks. Rigorously researching and connecting these opportunities and existing projects across the region into a Blueprint creates a Green Network Framework that should not be ignored. We hope the Green Network becomes a reality and many more of us will be out and about on our bikes or on foot, feeling healthier, enjoying relaxing greenspaces and encountering a varied multitude of wee insects.
Scottish Programme for Government and greenspaces
Scotland's Programme for Government 2019 announced early September has a strong focus on climate change and lowering emissions. It also makes a number of commitments that are relevant to urban parks and greenspaces, biodiversity, green infrastructure, local food growing, active travel and energy.
Planning (Scotland) Act - and Green Infrastructure
A useful summary of the aspects of The Planning Act that will be of interest to the green infrastructure community. Including changes to development planning, (NPF, regional spatial strategies, removal of statutory Supplementary Guidance), new statutory requirements for evidence around GI and an infrastructure levy that would cover green and blue infrastructure.
Not so pretty vacant
The Vacant and Derelict Land Taskforce is challenging all sectors in Scotland to help bring land back into productive use and prevent future sites from being abandoned. The taskforce has published a Statement of Intent with actions required to make this happen at a national level.
Principles for community empowerment
This report by Audit Scotland aims to raise awareness of community empowerment and promote a shared understanding across scrutiny bodies to support high-quality scrutiny of community empowerment.
New map for Health Walks across Scotland
Paths for All have launched a new online map detailing over 670 free, friendly and fun Health Walks across Scotland. With hundreds of the walks taking place in local greenspace as part of the route, joining a Health Walk is the perfect way to enjoy some fresh air in local nature, whilst meeting new people and improving physical and mental health too!
£8 million for green infrastructure in urban communities
SNH’s latest Green Infrastructure Fund will support seven major projects across the central belt. The fund aims to tackle issues such as poor health and high unemployment as well as mitigate the impacts of climate change through creating and improving greenspaces in urban communities. The latest projects in Glasgow, Bishopbriggs and Dunfermline will improve habitats and biodiversity, transform derelict land, tackle flood risk and create new active travel routes, community gardens and play areas.
Urban biodiversity projects benefit from Nature fund
14 projects across Scotland have been confirmed as the first recipients of Scottish Natural Heritage’s Biodiversity Challenge Fund. The projects will take practical steps to improve natural habitats, safeguard plant and animal species and improve biodiversity. Seven urban nature projects have received funds. The projects include the Edinburgh Shoreline project, Greening Pinkston Basin in Glasgow and the Little France Park Project in Edinburgh that will breathe new life into an unmanaged urban greenspace.
Community Land Week celebrations 2019
During August, Community Land Week celebrated community land ownership across Scotland and demonstrated the positive impact it has. Several projects that include greenspace ownership held events and were also featured in short films. For inspiration, take a look at this one on Bonnymuir Green Community Trust.
Plan to Grow Food
The Scottish Allotments and Gardens Society (SAGS) and Planning Aid Scotland (PAS) have published Plan to Grow Food, a helpful spatial planning advice guide for allotments and other food growing spaces.
Scottish projects round-up
Growing a young person's future with RHS bursary
In June HRH The Duke of Rothesay visited Castlebank Park and met with around 100 people involved in the park’s development. Following the visit, The Prince’s Charities made a well-deserved donation towards the ongoing development of the park. Lanark Community Development Trust has chosen to allocate a proportion of this donation towards a fully-funded bursary place for one young person to complete the RHS Level 2 Principles of Horticulture course in 2019/2020. We look forward to finding out who the lucky recipient is.
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh gets development support
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh has received the backing of city councillors to proceed with a £70 million development, to ensure the future and improvement of Scotland’s national plant collection.
Auldcathie Park gets going
Work is under way to create a huge new £6m park at a West Lothian village. The 78-acre site in Winchburgh will include woodland, play areas and a dog park. Auldcathie Park will also feature a cafe, bike tracks, fitness trains and a connection with the Union Canal towpath. Over one-and-a-half acres of the park will be transferred to the very active Winchburgh Community Growing Group.
Grow Banff @ the Vinery
In Banff, a community consultation was carried out to identify uses for the Vinery building, a Grade B listed Glass House in Airlie Gardens. The preferred use - a “Community garden and Horticultural Skills base” was closely followed in votes by a Community Kitchen and Café. It is hoped that both could be possible and following an award from the Scottish Government Town Centre Fund, the next step is to appoint an operator to help shape the first stage.
Discovering the living landscapes in Cumbernauld
Before our German intern Anna returned to Hanover earlier this month, she visited Cumbernauld Living Landscape, a partnership project led by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. She was amazed by what has been achieved already, read more in her blog.
Glasgow Chef's Challenge 2019
This friendly competition is part of an ongoing campaign from Glasgow Community Food Network to get more locally sourced seasonal food onto the plates of Glaswegians. There’s currently a call for produce
UK and international news
The value of Birmingham's green spaces
Natural outdoor spaces managed by Birmingham City Council will provide over £11 billion of value over the next 25 years according to a report by Birmingham City Council and the Consultancy for Environmental Economics & Policy. More than a third of this value arises from health benefits. The authors calculate that for each £1 spent on parks services, more than £24 of value is created.
Your Park in Bristol and Bath
Your Park website is an initiative created by Bristol & Bath Parks Foundation - a new charity that wants to ensure a bright future for parks and green spaces in the Bristol and Bath area. It is designed to highlight the huge benefits of parks and engage audiences in sharing their stories about parks and hopes for the future.
7 acre community food forest for Atlanta
Atlanta is to transform 7 acres of vacant property into an abundant urban community food forest for the public that would be open free of charge. The food forest will produce a wide variety of fresh, flavourful, and healthy nuts, fruits, vegetables, herbs and mushrooms, which will become available for public consumption in an area identified as a food desert.
Bus stops that benefit bees in Utrecht
The roofs of 316 bus stops have been covered in sedum plants as a gift to bees in Utrecht. Creating practical green infrastructure, the shelters not only support the city’s biodiversity, such as honey bees and bumblebees, but they also help capture fine dust and store rainwater. They are just one of a number of measures Utrecht has introduced in a bid to improve air quality.
Proximity to urban green spaces matters for city dwellers
The study, ‘A spatial analysis of proximate green space and mental wellbeing in London’ demonstrates how urban green spaces may improve a broader definition of mental wellbeing. While government guidelines recommend minimum amounts of green space in residential developments this study, by researchers at the Universities of Warwick, Sheffield and Newcastle, was able to establish more specifically where green space may be most valuable.
Two hour weekly nature dose to boost wellbeing
A growing body of evidence indicates that greater exposure to natural environments (such as parks, woodlands and beaches) is associated with better health and well-being. But how long should you experience the great outdoors for in order to reap the most benefit? According to a study, that examined data from nearly 20,000 people in England, the answer is about 120 minutes each week.
Beyond Greenspace – demystifying health metrics
University of Exeter are developing a ‘Demystifying Health Metrics’ publication for the Valuing Nature Programme. It will provide an overview to using measures of health and wellbeing to demonstrate the value of the natural environment for human health and wellbeing. The report is intended as an introduction for a broad audience of researchers and users of research, who are not specialists in Health Metrics. Help them make it as useful as possible by completing the Demystifying Health Metrics survey.
Tool to identify best locations for habitat creation
Condatis is a free, open-source, decision support tool to identify the best locations for habitat creation and restoration to enhance existing habitat networks and increase ecological connectivity across landscapes.
Urban Nature – challenging inequalities and supporting wellbeing
Improving Wellbeing through Urban Nature (IWUN) is a three year research project that aims to research how Sheffield’s natural environment can improve the health and wellbeing of the city’s residents. Their latest Policy and Practice brief is Supporting People’s Mental Wellbeing Through Urban Nature – Challenging Inequalities.
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.
Glasgow parks – help to play your part
Keep Scotland Beautiful have launched a new initiative in Glasgow which will help community groups in less affluent areas to improve the places that they live in and care for - making sure that everyone in the city can access safe, clean and inspiring greenspaces. Get in touch with them if interested in taking part.
Climate Challenge Fund open for applications
Funding from the CCF is available of up to £100,000 per organisation, per year, for the next two financial years 2020-2022. The CCF supports community-led organisations in Scotland to tackle climate change by running projects that reduce local carbon emissions. Deadline: 20 Sep 2019
Knowledge is Power
Scottish Community Development Centre and The Poverty Alliance have announced a new support resource for community-led action research. The two-year programme will fund six community organisations to develop their own evidence to influence change in their communities - and to take forward actions for improvement. Applications open 16 Sep 2019.
Big Climate Community Conversations
Community groups including community councils can apply for funding to host Big Climate Conversation events and there’s a free resources pack to get you started. Grants between £100 - £300 are available. Deadline: 21 Oct 2019
The Barrack Charitable Trust
Grants vary, but most lie between £500 and £5,000. Current areas of interest include: Advancement of Community Development, Rural and Urban Regeneration and The Provision of Recreational Facilities. Deadline: 31 Oct 2019
Baillie Gifford Community Awards Programme
A stand-alone grants programme managed by Foundation Scotland aimed at supporting grass roots community organisations across the whole of Scotland. The programme will consider grants of up to £2,000 which fit a range of priorities. Deadline: 2 Dec 19.
The Morrisons Foundation awards
Grant funding for charity projects which make a positive difference in local communities. In the main grants are available to fully fund projects up to £25,000.
#ShiftthePower Scotland Comic Relief Programme
Grant programme that is open to community-led grassroots organisations and charities with an income of £250,000 or less whose work fits one of the four strategic themes, Children Survive & Thrive, A Safe Place to Be, Mental Health Matters and Gender Justice.
Helping young people aged 8 to 24 to become more confident and play an active part in realising their potential. Awards between £10,000 to £100,000 with no deadline.
National Lottery Heritage Fund - Heritage Horizon Awards
The Heritage Horizon Awards will invest £100million over the next three years in ambitious, innovative and transformational projects that will revolutionise UK heritage. The National Lottery Heritage Fund is looking for inspiring applications from heritage organisations across the UK for the new Heritage Horizon Awards, worth £5million and over. Applications from a full range of heritage are welcome. When making the awards, there will be a particular focus on The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s current strategic priorities: landscape and nature and heritage at risk.
Monitoring and impact measuring support
Charities, community groups and voluntary organisations can now access free support for monitoring and measuring their impact. The National Lottery Community Fund has launched a new index tool of existing outcome frameworks and indicators as an open resource for the sector.
jobs and volunteering
Project Development Officer (Ecologist) - Thriving Green Spaces Project
Scottish Wildlife Trust are seeking an experienced, confident urban ecologist with the skills to lead the development of the ecological change theme for Edinburgh’s Thriving Green Spaces project. This is an opportunity to put nature at the heart of a pioneering programme designed to find sustainable ways to manage and fund parks and open spaces in Scotland’s capital city. Closing Date: 23 Sep 2019
Project Development Officer - Thriving Green Spaces Project
Aligned with the Edinburgh 2050 City Vision, the aim of the Thriving Green Spaces project is to create a sustainable strategy that will ensure Edinburgh’s parks and green spaces are enhanced, protected and cared for into the future. It will establish a sustainable funding model that enables the city to resource a green space service relevant for 21st century urban living and take a lead on delivering many of the capital’s aspirations on place-making, health, sustainable energy, active travel, and biodiversity. The City of Edinburgh Council will commence recruitment for project staff in early Sep.
Walk Leader / Assistant – Greener Kirkcaldy
Greener Kirkaldy are looking to create a network of volunteers to run and assist with walks across Kirkcaldy. Walks will be approximately 30-50 minutes long. Volunteers can run activities for their own communities, groups or organisations, or assist with our public walks. Walks can be run on any day/time.
events and training
5 Sep - Roots to Market - Building a Local Food Economy from the Ground Up, Glasgow
This talk for Glasgow Allotment Forum will focus on the work done so far in Glasgow to stimulate our local food economy. There is enormous potential to be harvested in more urban food production. We need to think innovatively and creatively about how we use land, buildings, resources and supply chains to get more people eating local.
10 Sep - Community Development: Tackling Inequalities, Edinburgh
This year’s Community Development Alliance Scotland (CDAS) conference will explore the challenges and opportunities in tackling inequalities through empowering communities.
12 Sep - Open Day at Bellahouston Demonstration Garden, Glasgow 12 – 3pm
Bellahouston Demonstration Garden is a unique place for schools, groups and the wider community to learn and grow. As part of the wider Glasgow Doors Open Festival, discover how this safe and secure walled garden setting is improving health and participation as well as providing locally-grown seasonal produce.
17 Sep - Asset Management Conference, Edinburgh
The theme for the day is the effective use of existing public assets. The ParkPower project will be one of the projects featured.
19 Sep – Park Managers Forum, Ravenscraig
Event at Ravenscraig, for local authority park managers and officers. There are two themes for the day: creating a new park on a post-industrial site, and parks as our natural health service. If you aren’t on the Forum mailing list, please email to register interest
23 Sep - Reconnecting with our intuitional knowledge of medicinal plants, Glasgow
Would you like to learn about the healing properties of our local plants? Come and join TCV on a journey through the alluring greens of Pollok Park.
26 Sep - Empowering parks for the 21st Century, Birmingham
This event is SOLD OUT. But they’ll be livestreaming selected sessions on the day for FREE. You can choose this option if you register.
28 - 29 Sep - Community Woodlands Association Conference 2019, Hamilton
8 Oct - Future Planning - Designing Places in a Climate Emergency, Glasgow
This event, aimed at planners and others involved in the built environment is being organised by the Ecosystems Knowledge Network in partnership with the Green Infrastructure Fund managed by Scottish Natural Heritage. Explore future-proofing and what it means, and the role of masterplanning in planning and designing future-proofed places.
8 Oct – Green Arts Conference, Edinburgh
The Creative Carbon Scotland Green Arts Conference this year is looking at how Scotland’s cultural organisations can respond to the climate emergency.
22 Oct - Outdoor Recreation 2030: Future Trends and Insights Conference, Bovey Tracey
A two-day "Future Trends and Insights Conference" at Dartmoor National Park.
24 Oct - Britain's Active Parks, Birmingham
A one-day conference focusing on how our parks can play an increasing role in getting people active and changing lives. greenspace scotland are presenting on Parks – our natural health service.
6 Nov - Scottish Physical Activity Research Connections 2019, Edinburgh
SPARC is an opportunity to share information on current research and good practice in promoting physical activity for health. Fee is £40 (£10 for post-graduate students).
The Caley’s Grow and Learn Award
Grow and Learn is the Caley’s flagship education programme delivered in collaboration with organisations across Scotland. Grow and Learn aims to address a large gap in provision in the world of horticulture by offering an alternative learning opportunity for those who find mainstream learning challenging. email
Free community path training
Paths for All's Active Environments team are offering community organisations the opportunity to receive free training on their doorstep and on a date that suits them by hosting a range of training courses at your choice of location.
Training and events for Scottish community groups tackling climate change
If you are a Scottish community group interested in tackling climate change, the free programme of training and events provided by Keep Scotland Beautiful could help support you in your work.