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 May ebulletin. We hope you are getting out and about to enjoy seeing the signs of Spring in your local greenspace. Read on to find out about the great work that is happening across Scotland and further afield to support greenspaces as well as info on research, funding and events which may interest you and your networks.
greenspace scotland news
Do greenspaces get enough funding?
With local elections on Thursday 5 May, the latest guest blog on greenspace scotland’s website shares an infographic by John O’Neil and asks: ‘Are we spending enough on parks and greenspaces?’
Remembering Together explores co-creating with young people
In May, Remembering Together’s learning programme will begin with Sharing Space, monthly sessions for partners and collaborators working on Covid community memorials, to meet and hear from invited guests about memorials and memory making, co-creation, working with creative differences and ethical and sustainable making. Our first speaker is Gerald Richards from Super Power Agency talking about co-creating with young people. It will be recorded and shared on the Resources page after the 9 May event.
Our Remembering Together team are making great progress in selecting and interviewing artists and creative practitioners to co-create Covid community memorial projects with communities across Scotland. In April, East Dunbartonshire were the first local authority to appoint their artist, Elena Mary Harris. Read more about Elena
Keep up to date through our News and Stories page where you can also read Project Officer John’s reflection on his learning and experience working on Remembering Together.
Tesco Community Grants – your vote counts
With May council elections, voting comes very much to mind. Voting also plays a part in the allocation of funding to projects with Tesco Community Grants. Every three months, three projects are displayed in local stores and customers vote each time they shop. All the projects get funded but the one with the most votes gets £1500. Right now, 261 different projects are being voted on in Scottish stores. One of these projects is for volunteer training at a large community orchard in Dunblane.
In 2017, Dunblane Community Council organised volunteers to plant a 250 tree community orchard in the Laigh Hills Park, Dunblane as part of a plan agreed by Stirling Council and the local community. Some of the original funding came from Tesco Bags of Help and so we are delighted to see how the orchard has taken root in the community and is now supporting volunteers to learn new skills in orchard pruning and maintenance. It’s a great example of a local food security project
Pop into your local store to support a project with your vote! Or apply now for projects that provide food security or support young people, children and families.
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
Prescribing green health
Green Health Week takes place from 14-22 May and green social prescribing is all about using our parks, greenspaces and the outdoors to improve our health and wellbeing, so it’s a perfect fit for May. Green Health Week is part of NatureScot’s Our Natural Health Service initiative highlighting that everyone, regardless of age, ability or other circumstances, should be able to access Scotland’s fantastic natural environment and in doing so, improve their health and well-being.
The important role of greenspace and green health activities for our health and wellbeing is increasingly being recognized. Green Social Prescribing uses the interaction between people and healthcare services to identify those who could benefit most from green interventions and connect them with nature.
Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation’s shared vision is for green health prescribing to be embedded across the system, targeted at people who can most benefit. The Foundation is working across the health and social care partnerships to support them in making this a reality using five Golden Threads. You can read more about this approach in the Green health prescribing: its role in Lothian’s COVID-19 recovery report.
On 21 March, Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation and greenspace scotland hosted their first Lothian Green Social Prescribing Forum, bringing together prescribers, enablers and practitioners to network, connect and move green social prescribing forward.
The event provided a valuable opportunity to collect views and input on the challenges, opportunities and requirements to deliver the green health strategy from people in all parts of the system, and demonstrated the enthusiasm, belief and success stories to support the need for it to happen. The learning has been captured on the Health Foundation’s event page where you can see videos from the day and access the full report.
Land Reuse guidance from Scottish Land Commission
Guidance for public bodies on how they can use and manage land productively and in the public interest, an integral part of community wealth building, has been published. The Resources mentioned in the March Land Reuse Month sessions have been collated to help provide information, guidance and support for organisations looking to transform their approach to land – rural and urban.
Scottish Government Formal Volunteering Framework published
The framework forms part of a wider Scottish Government response to recommendations made by the Youth Volunteering Innovation Project (Youth VIP) report. Youth VIP recommended that the Scottish Government ‘create a framework to support young people not in education, employment or training, to gain work-based skills and personal development through volunteering'. While the framework supports delivery of the Young Person's Guarantee , the crucial role volunteering plays in supporting anyone through their employability journey is recognised, so this framework can be applied across all age groups.
Helping young people achieve nature awards
The John Muir Trust and partners have created a resource to inspire practitioners, including teachers and youth workers, to navigate and connect the diverse award opportunities available in Scotland for young people. It demonstrates how nature-based awards contribute to national agendas such as building skills for life, learning and work, and inspiring people about the benefits of wild places and nature connection in tackling the climate crisis and reversing biodiversity loss.
Learning in Local Greenspace evaluation report
Learning in Local Greenspace was a collaborative project that arose from Scotland’s Biodiversity a Route Map to 2020. Directly supporting 115 schools serving or located in disadvantaged communities to access and use their local greenspace, the report found that more than a third (37%) of teachers felt that through involvement with the project their pupils had a good connection to nature, compared to just 19% previously. Amongst other positive findings, the percentage of teachers taking learning outdoors in their local greenspace regularly, rose from 28% to 49%, while teacher confidence in doing so increased from 54% to 85%.
2022 Nature of Scotland awards open for entries and nominations
The RSPB Nature of Scotland 2022 awards, co-sponsored by NatureScot, are open for entries. Celebrate inspirational work for Scotland's wildlife, habitats and people by entering yourself or others by 30 May.
Attitudes to rewilding in Scotland
In 2021, SCOTLAND: The Big Picture commissioned a report to identify the social and cultural barriers to rewilding in Scotland. As rewilding has grown in prominence, some have expressed concerns about what changes it might bring about. Hearts & Minds seeks to assess those concerns and looks at how they might be overcome.
Scottish projects round-up
I remember book published as part of Scotland’s Covid Memorial
I remember is a communal memory of the pandemic, composed as part of Scotland’s Covid Memorial. In Spring 2020, The Herald established a public fund to create Scotland’s Covid Memorial. The final artwork in Pollok Country Park was designed by poet and artist Alec Finlay, and is accompanied by this book of remembrance, illustrated by the artist with brush and ink paintings of some of the contributions. Hundreds of people from across Scotland – healthcare workers, care home staff, bereaved families, people with Long Covid – have contributed their memories. The book can be pre-ordered here and the discount code greenspace2022 gives a third off the price of the book. You can also listen to a selection of I remembers read by Robert Carlyle here
Glasgow’s Hamiltonhill Claypits Local Nature Reserve transformation
Robert Alston is one of a band of local enthusiasts who worked with Scottish Canals and Glasgow City Council to drive change on a staggering scale at Claypits Local Nature Reserve. Robert takes readers on a virtual tour through the Reserve describing the transformation of an area that was neglected and overgrown, to become one of the most popular sites in the Canal & North Gateway Project.
Bellahouston site secured for community food growing
Locavore, the social enterprise working to build a more sustainable local food system, has secured a long-term lease on Bellahouston Nursery, the former Council plant nursery within Bellahouston Park, Glasgow. They will create a community growing space as well as small individual growing plots for people to try out growing their own food for the first time – with help and support. Find out more and register an interest here
Barshaw Park in Paisley is a winner!
Paisley is to benefit from a new community garden inspired by its local heritage after it was named the only Scottish winner in the RHS Garden Day Competition. On the site of the former donkey paddock, it will include espalier fruit trees of local varieties; edible hedges with Scottish berries; natural composting, wormery and extensive rainwater collection to underpin the garden’s green credentials. Friends of Barshaw Park will run a series of workshops from the space.
Sunflowers for Ukraine
Spring brings seeds of hope and the Chaplaincy ("for all faiths and none") at Edinburgh University is encouraging people to guerrilla garden with sunflower seeds to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine. In response the Peebles community garden, the Secret Garden, have shared blue and yellow packages of sunflower seeds and seedlings, giving people the opportunity to talk about their feelings about what's happening, to feel connected and to donate.
Local Resilience Plans - invitation to communities around the Forth.
The Inner Forth Futures’ Climate Forth project is now taking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from communities within the project area who wish to work with them to develop a Local Resilience Plan. The Local Resilience Plans will be bespoke to each community and aim to enhance local priorities and heritage assets, enabling people and places to be better equipped to respond to change. Closing date for submitting EOI: 11 May.
Surviving to Thriving celebrates anniversary
April marked the one-year anniversary of the NLHF-funded Business Support Programme - ‘Surviving to Thriving’ – which is delivered in partnership between Museums Galleries Scotland, greenspace scotland and Built Environment Forum Scotland. Over the last 12 months, 39 at-risk heritage organisations across Scotland have been supported to build capacity, develop sustainable business models and become more resilient moving forward. The programme continues until August.
The back catalogue: greenspace scotland’s 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!
UK and international news
Study names top 10 greenspaces for ‘welfare value’
Recent research (funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) puts the welfare value of England’s greenspaces at £25.6bn a year. Using the ORVal outdoor recreation value tool developed by researchers at the University of Exeter, the study also identifies the top 10 most valuable recreation sites, all of which are in or around urban areas.
Brett Day, Professor of Environmental Economics said: ‘The size of that benefit stands in stark contrast to the deep cuts in greenspace budgets across councils, cuts that threaten to condemn our greenspaces to neglect and disrepair. The ORVal tool makes explicit the very real, but all-too-often-ignored, losses that people endure as a consequence.’
Landscape Skills and Workforce Survey
The Landscape Institute have launched their latest Landscape Skills and Workforce Survey. Whether it’s understanding skills shortages, diversity issues, declining or increasing areas of practice, the public sector workforce, or other market forces affecting the industry, they want to hear from you. They’re aiming to provide a knowledge base that will inform business strategies for the coming years, support decision-making in the wider sector, and crucially, make the case for landscape to leaders and policymakers. Please complete the survey by 11 May.
Former rubbish dump becomes Public Park in São Paulo Favela
A 27 year-old resident and architect is the force behind Fazendinhando Park. Since 2017 she has worked together with community volunteers and artists to clear and repurpose rubbish, create colourful murals and establish an arts and cultural event, thus transforming Jardim Colombo, a favela southwest of São Paulo. There are more plans for a vegetable garden. Volunteers have been trained, with some now employed and others have renovated their houses and helped with making the community art gallery in a shipping container.
Leveraging the health-promoting benefits of parks
An overview of how parks and greenspaces can help alleviate contemporary health challenges advocates for ‘programs that leverage the health-promoting power of parks’ in the USA.
Strokes incidence and residential greenspace
This US study looks at the correlation between residential greenspace and stroke risk. Patients living with greater greenspace are 19% less likely to have a stroke event. The correlation still applied when socioeconomic status taken into account.
Trees better than grass in supporting early childhood development
Canadian study finds that vegetated land cover exposure was positively associated with childhood development. Positive associations were stronger for tree cover relative to grass cover, and exposure to paved land cover was negatively associated with childhood development. Researchers conclude findings should inform urban planners of the types of greenspace that support optimal early childhood health and development - impacts that last a lifetime.
Which elements best contribute to cooling effects of Pocket Parks?
An environmental and public policy student is modelling different kinds of surfaces and plant species to maximise heat circulation in Philadelphia’s Pocket Parks. Watch short video
Climate Gentrification in the US
Climate change, and policies related to it, are displacing vulnerable communities. New analysis of research on this phenomenon - called "climate gentrification" - finds there is a lack of long-term research that examines this issue and that members of vulnerable communities are not being given a voice.
Health and Climate Change Urban Profile 2022 Glasgow
The World Health Organization (WHO) health and climate change urban profile for Glasgow presents a snapshot of key climate hazards, climate-sensitive health risks, and the potential health benefits of climate change adaptation and mitigation. It provides examples of some immediate risks based on available evidence and reported priorities and initiatives. It also outlines some opportunities to promote policies and projects that protect the climate and environment while having large immediate health benefits at a local level.
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
Dandelion Harvest Grants Programme
Two funds to support and celebrate community groups and organisations who already grow their own food, or plan to start on their growing journey. The aim is to ‘grow new growers’ who will participate in Dandelion Harvest Festivals on 10 and 11 September. Grants of between £500 and £3,000. Eligible costs include growing and events activities. Closes 20 May
What’s Your Big Idea?! – Youth Scotland
Fund supports young people’s ambitions by giving them £50 to invest in their own big idea - which can make a big difference to others. Young people (aged 12-25) can apply through a Youth Scotland member group as individual or team. Deadline extended to 20 May
Future Routes Fund, for youth-led nature projects – NatureScot
The fund is open to young people living in Scotland aged 11-26 and has been designed by ReRoute to be supportive and accessible. Individuals can apply for funding of between £500 to £2,000, while teams can apply for £1,000 to £5,000. NatureScot welcomes innovative ideas to encourage young people to connect with nature or take positive action on biodiversity and climate. Closes 29 May
FCC Scottish Action Fund
Grants from £200 to £40,000 for not-for-profits and Local Authorities for activities eligible under Scottish Landfill Communities Fund (SLCF). This includes Land Reclamation and Community Recycling across Scotland. Proximity to landfill site/transfer station affects eligibility of Public Amenities and Parks, Biodiversity and Historic Buildings applications. Closes 8 June
UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF)
The Prospectus has been published, giving details of the Fund’s parameters and important dates. One of the three UKSPF priorities is People and Place. Lead Local Authorities can sign up from 22 April 22, with Investment Plans submitted by 1 August 22.
Magic Little Grants 2022 - People’s Postcode Lottery
Grants up to £500 for organisations who are in their first year of operation or have an annual income under £250,000. Funding can be used to launch new projects, support existing ones, or cover core costs associated with ongoing work. Includes increasing access to outdoor space, improving biodiversity and greenspaces, enabling participation in physical activity and more.
Funding sources for bringing vacant and derelict land into use
Updated summary of various funding sources in Scotland complied by the Scottish Land Commission - see also the Commission’s Vacant and Derelict Land (VDL) Community Impact Tool to measure impact of VDL on the community.
Investing in Communities Fund 2023 - 2026 – Scottish Government
Expected to open in May, grants of up to £350,000 in total will be available over the 3 year period from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 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, and social enterprises.
Tesco Community Grants
Tesco Community Grants is always 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!
jobs, volunteering and tenders
Urban Forest Fund tender opportunity – Future Woodlands Scotland
Future Woodlands Scotland (FWS) has secured £10 million of funding over 10 years to develop and deliver an urban forestry fund in Scotland. They are looking for a consultant or group to develop options and make recommendations on the development and delivery of the Urban Forestry Fund to progress FWS’s vision for the urban forest in Scotland. Deadline for proposals: 10 June
Community Gardeners in Glasgow and the Central Belt - Propagate
Propagate, a workers’ co-operative, is looking for freelance gardeners (£18/hour) to join their team who are: skilled growers and gardeners, experienced working with diverse groups, experienced in outreach and community engagement, creative and imaginative, committed to principles of food sovereignty and food justice. For more information, contact
Three new roles at Greener Kirkcaldy
Greener Kirkcaldy are growing their staff team to tackle climate crisis and cost-of-living crisis:
Closing date for all posts: 9 May
- Communications Lead to play a key role in delivering Greener Kirkcaldy’s marketing, communications, campaigns and events programme
- Programme Manager to support Project Managers and Coordinators and play a lead role in quality management and impact evaluation across the organisation
- Volunteer Coordinator to grow and develop volunteering at Greener Kirkcaldy
Cycle Training Officer - Cycling Scotland
This role within the Education and Training team provides an opportunity for an experienced Development Officer to support and develop adult cycle training opportunities Nationwide. Closing date: 9 May
Senior Project Officer Lochshore Park + QEUH
This role will engage with communities at the former Glengarnock Steelworks site in North Ayrshire and provide health, volunteering and community engagement activities on the site as part of the transformation to Lochshore Park, and at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital to engage patients and staff in green health initiatives and develop new outdoor activities. Closing date: 10 May
Natural Environment Officer (Food Growing) – Glasgow City Council
This role will provide additional support for allotments, to address waiting lists and support community empowerment requirements. Duties include: promoting, developing and expanding allotments and growing spaces available within the city through education, developing new resources and innovation; working with community growing projects to establish community associations to manage their growing sites and engage with partners to improve the quality of greenspace; and, providing support to Neighbourhoods, Regeneration and Sustainability, other Council Services and members of the public in relation to food growing matters. Closing date: 15 May
Climate Action Network Coordinators for Glasgow and North Lanarkshire – SCCAN
The role of each regional Network Coordinator is to build connection and understanding across community groups and create structures to enable the adoption of more strategic and collaborative approaches to the climate emergency. Recruitment for positions in Argyll and Bute and Skye, Raasay and Lochalsh will begin shortly. Funded until March 2023 by the Scottish Government. Closing date: 18 May
Green Arts Development Officer – Creative Carbon Scotland
The successful candidate will be an environmental sustainability specialist keen to help Scottish arts organisations reduce their carbon footprint. To lead on developing and delivering Green Arts best practice guidance, tools and resources, and supporting Scottish cultural organisations to understand and manage their greenhouse gas emissions. Closing date: 22 May
Gardens Volunteer Manager - Bannockburn House Trust, Stirling
Vacancy for a 0.5 FTE person to coordinate volunteer gardeners in this community owned 12 ha historic estate and house. Successful candidate will have a good knowledge of horticultural work, as well as volunteer coordination, and implementing/managing learning programmes. Apply to Sheila Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org providing covering letter and CV. Closing date: 22 May
events and training
5 (online) & 7 May (in person) - Thrive Outdoors Conference 2022, Inspiring Scotland
‘Growing the Ambition Together’ is for all registered Early Learning and Childcare settings – Nurseries, Childminding and Out-of-School Care interested in outdoor play and learning. 5 May is an on-line conference aimed at managers, policy and decision makers. 7 May is in person, in Fife, consisting of outdoor-based workshops offering a range of practical, hands-on, training for practitioners
11 May - Introduction to John Muir Award (online)
An introduction exploring the background, ethos, relevant skills, knowledge and approaches needed for delivering the John Muir Award. Designed for those new to the Award, as well as for existing providers to refresh their experience and keep up to date with resources, initiatives and best practice.
17 May – Activating greater use of greenspace for health and wellbeing, Green Health Webinar
For staff working at a policy/strategic level who have a role in achieving public health outcomes from use of greenspaces and places. Will outline strategic context in Scotland, help delegates turn policy into practice via case studies, promote Green Health Partnership approach.
20 - 21 May - Sharing Scotland’s Land Wealth, Community Land Scotland Annual Conference, Edinburgh
The conference will focus on exploring how Scotland can create a fairer society, when land ownership in rural areas, towns and cities remains the privilege of the few. What impact is this having on people and communities’ access to land and housing? What more can be done to ensure Scotland’s land is used more sustainably? Discussions of how Scotland can make a just transition to net zero and the role of community owned land and buildings in generating community wealth and confidence.
25 May - Skills sharing at Tullibody Community Garden, Forth Environmental Link
Includes a tour around the growing site with some of the Tullibody Garden team, with opportunities to ask questions and share skills throughout. Experience first-hand how the community has transformed this growing space. Organised by Forth Environment Link as part of a series of events for Falkirk Food Futures.
Looking further ahead:
17 - 19 June - Dandelion Festival Events, Glasgow
2 - 4 Sept – Dandelion Festival Events, Inverness
Two festivals book-ending the summer with live music, interactive theatre, talks, workshops, and science and creative activities for all the family. Free to attend and open to everyone, each Festival will be an inspiring and unique three-day celebration that dares to reimagine our relationship with food and the planet.