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 September ebulletin. After taking a summer holiday in August the ebulletin is back, we highlight some of the great work that is happening locally and further afield to support greenspaces as well as raising awareness of research, job vacancies, funding and events which may interest you and your networks.
greenspace scotland news
Au revoir to Ian Mackenzie
Since joining greenspace scotland in 2019 Ian Mackenzie has been embedded in the NHS Lothian Charity as part of the pathfinder work with NHS Lothian and the board’s Sustainable Development Management Group. The NHS Lothian Charity has recognised the success of this approach and has now made the role of Green Health Programme Manager a permanent position within its programmes. greenspace scotland is very pleased that Ian will be transferring into this role and look forward to continuing to work with NHS Lothian on their pioneering greenspace initiatives.
Remember Together – artists appointed
Remembering Together, Scotland’s Covid Community Memorial programme is now underway across the country with artists appointed to co-create with communities in 30 of the 32 local authority areas.
greenspace scotland, who are delivering the programme with funding from the Scottish Government, want to extend an invitation to as many community groups and individuals as possible, to honour the people we have lost and to mark what has changed in all our lives. Remembering Together artists will be issuing invitations to creative spaces and conversations in your areas, and there are other ways to get involved. The Yellow Heart series is dedicated to anyone that would like to share something directly about their experience of loss. Voices will reflect other kinds of experience such as Long Covid, shielding or residential care. If you wish to share something, send an image, text, poem, drawing or video to Adil Iqbal, Storytelling Associate for Remembering Together.
The Remembering Together website also features other Covid projects in Scotland, please get in touch if there are any in your area you’d like to share. You can also sign up to the newsletter on the website for a quarterly update about Remembering Together. For more information contact Kim Simpson.
Tesco Community Grants – Seed to Table
The Three Kings Cullen Association have recently received Tesco funding and members of the group have been working with the local primary school on an intergenerational project - Seed to Table. They have been busy helping the children to construct a plastic bottle greenhouse that will help them to grow plants for their garden. At harvest time their school-grown food will be used for cooking lessons.
Are you involved in a local group, or do you know of a local good cause that needs support? Our Enabler team are here to help you apply or answer any questions.
During the Summer the team have also been out and about in Scotland hosting shortlisting meetings with Tesco Community Champions and staff. Tesco colleagues were deciding on the three shortlisted projects that will appear in the store voting units from October to December 2022. Customers vote and the winning project gets £1500, 2nd £1000 and 3rd £500. Apply online or contact one of the team.
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 urban forest, play areas and various parks projects.
Project of the month
Growing Lauriston Farm
Edinburgh Agroecology Coop was set up to work towards the transformation of the farmland in front of Lauriston Castle in Edinburgh into a food-growing and wildlife habitat enhancement project.
The vision is to create a biodiverse farm that benefits both people and wildlife, and to be a place where people can learn first-hand how food is grown in a nature rich environment, with multiple opportunities for community engagement, events and learning. The project aims to address some of the issues around access to local, affordable fresh produce; environmental degradation and lack of opportunities for people in cities to gain experience in food production.
Much of the farm is dedicated to food production with the market garden already producing a variety of vegetables and an agroforestry alley crop system is being planned for the next year. Across all the food production areas a mix of vegetables, fruit and grains will be grown. There are also community growing plots for community groups and organisations, 12 have been established already with plans for approximately 50 plots being created altogether over the next five years. A community orchard and learning hub are in the plans over the next couple of years.
Habitat creation and enhancement is integral to the farm and close to 10,000 trees have been planted in newly created woodland areas and hedgerows, with the help of over 450 volunteers, as well as expansion of an existing wetland and creation of new amphibian ponds and wildflower meadows. Areas of the farm have been left open for people to walk around and enjoy the stunning panoramic views over the Firth. This is just the start for Lauriston Farm and there are big plans for the future. On Saturday 10 September 2-5pm the Harvest Festival will celebrate the first year of growing at the farm, as part of the Dandelion project. More info
Place Standard Tool for Children and Young People
New versions of the Place Standard tool have been developed for children and for young people. The tools are based on the core Place Standard tool but the theme names, questions and prompts have been adapted to be more accessible and appropriate for younger users. The tools are currently available for download in pdf format and digital versions are planned for the future.
New adaptation resources and tools published
Adaptation Scotland has published a new set of tools and resources for those working to adapt to improve resilience to climate impacts in their place. They are aimed mainly at community groups and the third sector (such as those involved in Community Planning Partnerships, Community Councils or Community Land Trusts).
20% reduction in car kilometres by 2030: assessing the health impact
The Scottish Government has set a target to reduce car kilometres travelled in Scotland by 20% by 2030 and recently consulted on a route map of interventions to achieve this target. The route map identifies actions to support four outcomes: reduce the need to travel; live well locally; switching modes to walk, wheel, cycle or public transport and combine or share car trips. Public Health Scotland held a health impact scoping workshop for each of these outcomes.
Scottish Government consultations closing soon
There’s still just time to respond to the Scottish Government consultations on the Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy (9 Sept) and Biodiversity Strategy (12 Sept).
Scottish projects round-up
Turning eyesores into eye-catchers
Glasgow National Park City are promoting the opportunity to transform vacant and derelict spaces across the city, with both temporary and permanent uses. The blog post features inspiring examples, hints on how to get going and links to other resources providing useful information to get started on transforming spaces in your community. We are delighted to see that our Better Outside Ideas Source Book is featured. It’s not just Glasgow that could benefit, the info could help you transform vacant land anywhere in Scotland.
Everything's coming up daisies for new park
A planning application has been submitted to West Lothian Council to create a major new park on the site of the historic Winchburgh Brickworks. The designs for Daisy Park have been heavily influenced by the local community. It will become a central meeting place for and provide connections across the whole of the community by footpaths and cycle paths. Connecting directly onto the Union Canal, it can be easily used as a stop-off for those cycling the wider canal network.
Zetland Park raingarden opens
A collaborative project by Green Action Trust, NatureScot, Falkirk Council and the Rose Garden Action Group in Grangemouth has restored Zetland Park’s Rose Garden, while delivering an exemplar of nature-based solutions to problems like flooding. Delivered with funding from the Scottish Government’s Nature Restoration Fund the project demonstrates the potential of high-quality blue-green infrastructure, showing that functional (and multifunctional) spaces can also be attractive and welcoming places. In this project, the raingarden elements were carefully integrated with the Rose Garden and other design features, showing that they functioned together, rather than the raingarden simply being a drainage pond at the side of the site.
Duddingston community biodiversity pond
Since March this year, the Duddingston Field group have been constructing a 5 x 5 m pond in the field behind Duddingston village. During June and July, a Masters student from University of Edinburgh has been studying the development of biodiversity in the pond and comparing it to pond life in Dunsapie Loch, with some encouraging results. She found that the colonisation of species communities in the new pond was very rapid.
After rebranding in June 2022 Greener Peebles have launched a new website. This thriving community garden offers volunteers the opportunity to learn how to grow food, develop skills, make friends and build confidence. As well as teaching local people lifelong skills of how to grow food sustainability, everyone gets to leave with a free harvest! Take a look at the Greener Peebles Facebook page to get involved and find out about upcoming events.
Wheeling in new cycle park
In the new Bellshill Gateway and Cycle Park, North Lanarkshire Council Greenspace team are working alongside community cycling organisations to deliver cycle-based engagement sessions for local communities. In the first few months of the Wheeling in our Community project they have provided BMX/Skateboarding and Mountain bike Trial sessions as well as ‘Trial-Jam’ sessions. The next phase is to help local cycle organisations, the public and council staff to upskill themselves and create a groundswell of exciting led-cycle activity at their new Cycle Park.
Glasgow hospital HALO garden opens
A new garden space designed and built in collaboration with staff, patients and families of patients of the Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Alexandra Hospital has officially opened. The idea for the new HALO Gardens originated with staff from the ICU, who wanted to develop a space to honour organ donors and those affected by COVID-19 and provide users of the service with an accessible and welcoming outdoor area.
UK and international news
A decade deep budget cuts for England’s parks
A recent article in The Guardian reported that in real terms parks in England have seen a reduction in funding of almost £330 million since 2010, with the most deprived areas experiencing the deepest cuts. Almost 25% less in real terms was spent on parks across England last year than in 2010, with close to three-quarters of local authorities spending less on parks and open spaces. 58% of councils in the most affluent fifth of the country cut their spending, compared with 87% of the country’s most deprived council areas.
…and in Scotland
The 2020/21 Improvement Service Local Government Benchmarking Framework Culture and Leisure report found that council spending on parks and open spaces has reduced in real terms by 41% over the 11-year period from 2010/11 to 2020/21. There has been a year on year reduction across the period, including a 10.9% reduction in 2020/21. While average costs have reduced by 41%, the range in movement across councils is -86% to +16%, with three councils reporting increasing costs counter to the national trend.
Levelling Up Parks Fund
During Love Parks Week (29 July–5 August), the UK government announced a £9m Levelling Up parks scheme with the aim of creating new or significantly refurbished greenspaces in those urban areas that need them most. In England, the cash will be given to councils to create or significantly revamp existing parks in 85 neighbourhoods most deprived of outdoor space. The UK government has allocated over £1 million from the fund to the devolved administrations.
National Lottery Heritage Fund “Have your say” consultation
The National Lottery Heritage Fund are keen to hear from environmental organisations and the public as part of their strategy refresh. As the largest funder of landscapes and nature outside of Government funds, they want input from landscape, nature, parks and urban greenspace organisations on what their priorities should be for the years ahead. Survey closes on 5 September 2022.
New to Nature placements launched
Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of the celebrations to mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee Groundwork UK have launched the New to Nature project. New to Nature will see young people aged 18-25 given new, full-time, temporary jobs in nature and landscape organisations across the UK (including Scotland), increasing diversity and enriching the sector.
Magnificent mandala carved into Knowsley parkland
A huge mandala, which covers an area the size of one-and-a-half football pitches, has been cut into Knowsley's Halewood Park by artist James Brunt, who wants to show people "the realms of what art can be". The mandala represents the universe in Hinduism and Buddhism and will be visible for about four weeks before nature wears it away. It has been created as part of Knowsley's year as Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture.
Ancient woodland, Mourne Park, opened to the public
A rare and ancient woodland has opened to the public for the first time in over 500 years. Mourne Park is home to ancient woodland which is so rare it covers just 0.04 per cent of the landscape in Northern Ireland. In 2021, the Woodland Trust bought 156 hectares of the 212ha estate and has now completed the first phase of works including three new walking trails for the public.
Lack of trees in Paris exposed by heatwave
During the third heatwave of 2022, the heat radiating off the surface outside the Garnier Opera house in Paris hit 56 degrees. Around the corner in the shade along the tree-lined Boulevard des Italiens, the temperature was 28C. The Place de l'Opera is lacking the trees that cool cities down by providing shade and seen as a key line of defence against climate change. Paris City Hall plans to plant 170,000 trees by 2026. It is also ripping up the concrete in dozens of school yards and laying down soil and vegetation. But in redrawing the city's landscape, mature trees are being felled which activists say runs counter to the authorities' own ambitions.
Barcelona being saved from wildfires by goats and sheep
Barcelona is one of the latest places to embrace and revive an age-old strategy to face off a rise in extreme wildfires. 290 sheep and goats have moved in with one task: to munch on as much vegetation as possible. The pilot project was launched in April in Collserola Park, an 8,000 hectare (20,000 acres) greenspace which sees an average of 50 fires a year. The idea is that wildfire-prone areas are handed over to grazing animals, who chomp and trample over dry vegetation that could otherwise accumulate as fuel for fires.
Health benefits of outdoor recreation valued up to £8.4 billion per year
The value of health benefits associated with outdoor recreation within the UK was estimated to be between £6.2 billion and £8.4 billion in 2020. The effect of the pandemic and subsequent national government responses changed the way people interacted with nature throughout 2020. People within built-up areas and gardens areas may have visited more diverse areas of nature, as opposed to a greenspace within their local urban area.
Nature's contribution to coping with a pandemic
Research review report found that the majority of the evidence suggests nature exposure during COVID-19 pandemic was associated with less depression, anxiety, stress, and more happiness and life satisfaction. Additionally, nature exposure was correlated with less physical inactivity and fewer sleep disturbances.
Twitter data to understand pandemic impact on urban greenspace use
This study examined full Twitter archive data before, during and after the lockdown to measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on London urban greenspace use. The results can inform policy makers in their management and planning of urban greenspace.
Urban naturalistic meadows to promote cooling
The results of this study highlighted meadows have a measurable impact on reducing the Urban Heat Island effect and, at times, more efficiently than trees.
Protecting playgrounds from traffic air pollution with roadside greening
Evidence increasingly shows that exposure to airborne particulate matter is linked with impaired neuro-development and cognitive function. These findings demonstrate that roadside vegetation near playgrounds can be designed, installed and maintained to achieve rapid, significant and cost-effective improvement of air quality
Data to assess and reduce emissions worldwide
Environmental Insights Explorer by Google uses exclusive data sources and modelling capabilities in a freely available platform to help cities and regions measure emission sources, run analyses, and identify strategies to reduce emissions.
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.
Glasgow Communities Fund – Glasgow City Council
The Fund aims to tackle poverty and inequality through: Building the skills, capacity and resilience of individuals and communities; Supporting activities and services that will enable and empower communities to become involved in the social, economic and cultural life of the city. Minimum annual grant of £20,000 and a maximum annual grant of £200,000. Closes 12 Sept.
Investment Ready Nature Scotland (IRNS) Grant Scheme – NatureScot
NatureScot, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the National Lottery Heritage Fund grant scheme to help organisations and partnerships develop projects that use private investment and market-based mechanisms to help finance the restoration of the natural environment. Grants will be between £30,000 and £100,000 and up to 100% of eligible costs, which can include internal organisational capacity, specialist consultancy and technical advice. Closes 16 Sept.
Heritage Innovation Fund – National Lottery Heritage Fund
Specialist innovation support, working alongside a cohort of supportive peers and a grant of up to £25,000, to play a leading role in pioneering solutions for making the heritage workforce fit for the future. A ‘workforce challenge’ is any issue relating to the workforce (whether paid or voluntary) that impacts on having the skills and capabilities to meet future demands on and ambitions for preserving, restoring and celebrating the UK’s diverse heritage. ‘Heritage’ includes green and blue space assets. Recorded webinar about the fund available here. Closes 27 Sept.
Climate Action Fund – National Lottery Community Fund
For projects that focus on the link between nature and climate, using nature to encourage community-led climate action. Development grants (up to 18 months) and delivery grants (2 to 5 years) available. Virtual information event takes place on 27 Sept 2022 – 12-1pm. To register email
Rewilding Innovation Fund – Rewilding Britain
Grants of up to £15,000 to help foster new and ambitious rewilding projects, or scale-up existing projects. Will support projects on land and at sea, at a scale of more than 40 hectares, that adhere to Rewilding Britain’s five principles. Closes 14 Oct.
Ian Findlay Paths Fund – Paths for All
Grants of £10,000 to £100,000 to support the improvement of local paths within and between communities. Community groups, third sector organisations and charities can apply to improve usability and accessibility of paths for more people, which in turn will reduce inequalities and improve access to greenspace and its benefits to mental health.
School orchards and fruiting hedgerow packs – The Tree Council
Register your interest to be notified when applications for the 2022-23 winter planting season open. All nurseries, primary, secondary and special schools (who have not previously participated in the Orchards for Schools programme) are eligible.
Tesco Community Grants
Tesco Community Grants is always open for applications from local charities and community organisations that support good causes in their area. Grants of up to £1500. The scheme is open to not-for-profit organisations and registered charities, including Local Authorities, schools, social housing providers and health partnerships. greenspace scotland’s team of Community Enablers are here to help!
Jobs and volunteering
Projects Support Co-ordinator – Living Streets
Post to provide central support for Living Streets projects which inspire walking to school and better walking environments for everyone. Closing date: 4 Sept.
Farm Partnership Officer - Plantlife UK
Post to build Plantlife UK partnerships and influence in agriculture and land management activity across England, Scotland and Wales. The post holder will develop shared ambitions for nature and sustainable farming with existing and new partners, and make direct input into government proposals. Closing date: 5 Sept.
Scotland Officer - Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland
Role to work with and support a network of County Recorders, local groups and partner organisations in Scotland whose common characteristic is a love of plants. The post holder can be based either at Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh or work from home elsewhere in Scotland. Closing date: 5 Sept.
Parks Team Leader - Falkirk Council
Falkirk Council are looking for a Parks Team Leader. Working within the Planning and Greenspace Unit to manage the development of Falkirk Council’s green infrastructure including parks and other open spaces. Closing date: 9 Sept.
Net Zero Policy Adviser - Scottish Land and Estates
Recruitment of a Net Zero Policy Adviser for existing policy team. Climate Change is a growing area of work for SLE and they are looking to enhance their technical knowledge in this area, providing high quality member advice as well as strong representation of members views. Closing date: 12 Sept.
Project Manager - RSPB Scotland
RSPB Scotland is looking for a dynamic, passionate, self-motivated Project Manager to help them develop and deliver their extensive pipeline of projects. Closing date: 16 Sept.
Senior Greenspace Officer - Perth & Kinross Council
Position for an experienced, enthusiastic, and self-motivated Chartered Landscape Architect to lead the Policy & Projects section. Closing date: 18 Sept.
Events and training
Throughout September - Climate Fringe Festival
Climate Fringe Festival listing various dates across the country to get involved in local activities and discussions around climate change.
3 Sept - Amphibian and Reptile Workshop, Glasgow
Hop in for face-painting, crafting, storytelling and minibeast hunts or pond-dipping in the grounds with the ARC Trust Education Officer. Free event but booking is essential through the link.
7 Sept – What have fungi ever done for us? Online
A deep dive into the astonishing world of fungi! Many folk are aware of the colourful and varied toadstools that appear every autumn. Fewer people are aware of how fungi underpin the health of our planet and how we rely on them for food and other ‘essentials’ of modern life.
7 Sept – Glasgow National Park CitySupporters Get Together, Glasgow
Glasgow National Park City Supporters Get Together at The White House, Free Wheel North’s second centre in Glasgow and is Maryhill’s oldest building.
9-11 Sept - Dandelion Harvest, across Scotland
Dandelion Harvest brings people together for community meals made from food grown in that community or sourced locally, live music and long conversations, swapping stories and sharing the produce. It’s the moment to celebrate a year of growing – and plan for the next.
20 Sept - Forest School Training, near Edinburgh
Forest School Training starts at Jupiter Artland for levels 5,6 & 8 modular course. The format is a blend of online self-paced modules and face to face seminars, and all-day woodland sessions.
20 Sept - Community Development Alliance Scotland Conference, Edinburgh
The annual conference will include workshops, speakers, and participation from a number of our membership organisations highlighting the social, environmental, physical and economic impact of community development.
22 Sept - Nature-Based Accelerator showcase, Glasgow
The Nature-Based Accelerator has been developed and delivered by The Melting Pot, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Caledonian University and Social Innovation Connect. It’s all about encouraging local and resilient nature-based economies, creating more green jobs, and helping achieve net-zero targets.
24 Sept - Big Picture Conference, Perth
The Big Picture Conference brings together a diverse group of people united by a shared commitment to nature recovery. Join them and an inspirational line-up of speakers for a fun and fulfilling day of presentations, learning opportunities and rewilding discussion.
26 Sept - Climate Week, across Scotland
To mark this year’s Climate Week, there is an ask for individuals, businesses and communities up and down the country to put climate change at the top of the conversation list. The aim is to normalise conversations about climate change, encourage everyone to talk more about its impact and what each of us plan to do to tackle it.
28 Sept - Managing Community Path Projects, Stirling
This is a full day in person training course that will provide an overview of the key stages involved in the planning, development, and delivery of any community path project.
30 Sept - Community Woodlands Association Conference, Birnam
The Community Woodlands Association Annual Conference & AGM 2022.
8 – 16 Oct - Community Land Week, across Scotland
Community Land Week will return this year for the fourth Scotland-wide celebration of community landowners. Any geographic community that owns land or another asset, from an estate to a woodland to a community centre, can apply to run an event as part of the week.
17 – 19 Oct - Naturally Thriving: Rethinking Urban Green Space, Online
At this conference learn how cities and towns are using urban green space to create thriving, healthy and resilient places to live, work and visit. Green infrastructure can help cities and towns address the big challenges facing urban areas in the 21st century.
Arts & Business Scotland’s Events and Training Programmes
Arts & Business Scotland’s Events and Training Programmes are currently being run online, including a full programme of Business Briefings in association with our business partners, and a wide range of training sessions and workshops to support your fundraising, management and governance activities.