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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 June ebulletin. In this month's ebulletin, 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

Keep collaborating on Connecting Nature
The Connecting Nature project, focusing on urban nature-based solutions, may have come to a close but that doesn’t stop you accessing the content from the Impact Summit or the many project outputs. This hybrid event was grand finale of the EU Horizon 2020 funded project. Alongside fantastic keynote presentations many of the project activities and resources were highlighted.
Take a look at the recordings of the Summit presentations or explore the innovations, guidebooks and tools that have been developed as part of the project on the Connecting Nature website
If you are a nature-based enterprise, make sure to connect with other like-minded organisations, businesses and potential clients on the Connecting Nature Enterprise platform..
greenspace scotland was a partner in the project along with Glasgow City Council, who were one of the three front runner cities. We hope to continue connecting on nature-based solutions with the many academic, third sector and city partners involved.
Park Managers Forum
The May meeting of the Park Managers Forum focused on park safety and lighting with speakers sharing research on women’s experience of parks in Glasgow and West Yorkshire, examples of innovative lighting schemes and concluded with Make Space for Girls posing the question of ‘do our parks and greenspaces have a gender blind-spot?’
The Park Managers Forum provides a professional network exclusively for park and greenspace managers from Scottish local authorities. It supports professional and operational development – enabling sharing of practice across council areas, developing skills and exploring challenges to support the more effective and efficient management Scotland’s parks and greenspaces.
We’re delighted to receive funding support from Future Parks via the Thriving Green Space project to support the continued development of the Forum as a fast follower network for the Future Parks programme.
If you’re a parks/greenspace officer/manager working for a Scottish Council and you don’t already receive info about the Forum, please email 


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

I remember’ - Scotland’s Covid Memorial
I remember, Scotland’s Covid Memorial has been created in collaboration with the people of Scotland sharing their experiences of the pandemic and offers anyone affected by the pandemic a place for remembrance and reflection, and for hope and healing.

The Herald established a public fund to create Scotland’s Covid Memorial in Spring 2020. Glasgow City Council stepped forward to offer Pollok Country Park as a location for the memorial. greenspace scotland joined the project steering group and managed the artist commission.

The artist and poet, Alec Finlay, conceived I remember as a memorial walk through Pollok Country Park with forty oak artworks. The artworks are inspired by human poses of support. Each design references a photograph of someone affected by the pandemic, including bereaved families and people with Long Covid. The Supports each bear the phrase ‘I remember’ in English or one of Scotland’s other languages.

The Riverside and Birch Groves was formally opened on 27 May 2022 by the Deputy First Minister, John Swinney. The final artwork will be completed for the National Day of Remembrance in March 2023.

Speaking at the opening of the memorial Mr Swinney said: "The wooden structures Alec has created are there to epitomise solidarity and support. The fact that that solidarity and support has been established here in the beautiful tranquility of Pollok Park is another essential part of our remembrance about Covid. Because our parks, our greenspaces, our natural environment, became so precious to all of us during Covid.

"They gave us a place in which we could breathe fresh air and a place where we could be at peace. I hope this memorial becomes a place of peace where individuals can try to come to terms with their loss in the most beautiful and tranquil surroundings."

The artwork also includes a book of remembrance, illustrated by the artist. Hundreds of people from across Scotland – healthcare workers, care home staff, bereaved families, people with Long Covid – have contributed their memories. You can contribute your own ‘I remember’ using the invitation on this website  

The I remember audiobook features a selection of contributions edited by Alec Finlay, read by Robert Carlyle, with sound design by Chris Watson can be accessed here and is available to download on Bandcamp or via QR-code in the park using a smartphone. The book can be ordered here with the discount code greenspace2022 giving a third off the price of the book.

Scotland news

Transforming derelict land projects share £5 million
Ten projects will share more than £5million from the Low Carbon Vacant and Derelict Land Investment Fund, driving regeneration and innovation while tackling climate change.
New National Parks for Scotland consultation
Share your views on the creation of Scotland’s first national parks for 20 years. Ideas are being uploaded as the consultation takes place – you can add ideas and comment on existing ones. With discussion about potential locations and national marine parks, is it perhaps time to think about urban national parks or national park cities? Consultation closes on 6 June.
Allotment waiting times likely to grow with food price rises
The Scottish Allotments and Gardens Society (SAGS) commented that growing your own food is an ideal solution to the cost of living increase. But with long waits already for a local allotment plot (more than 10 years in some areas), increasing demand means the wait will only get longer. The Scottish Parliament’s Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee is undertaking an enquiry into whether the Community Empowerment Act has improved the availability of allotments and reduced the barriers to accessing allotments. The committee’s survey deadline is now past but look out for the Committee’s report.


Scottish projects round-up

Connecting communities with their greenspaces through outdoor play 
Inspiring Scotland’s Thrive Outdoors programme has helped many community-based organisations transform previously little used community greenspaces into thriving outdoor play areas. Connecting families across Scotland with local charities, it has encouraged use of local greenspaces in both urban and rural locations to facilitate outdoor play. Using community greenspaces in innovative ways has led to better outdoor play opportunities and helped create a sense of connection to the community, as well as a sense of ownership.
Thrive Outdoors are currently running a survey to map the outdoor play sector in Scotland. The main aim of this survey is to understand the needs and challenges that the wider sector faces. This includes discovering which areas of Scotland children and young people face difficulties in accessing outdoor play, as well as age-ranges that may be underserved – complete the survey 

Mapping the Green Team’s Impact
The Green Team are passionate about supporting young people to find their place in nature. 2021 was a challenging year but their first impact report reveals it was their busiest year yet, with nearly 1,000 young people taking part in the group’s programmes.
#flaxScotland – grow flax now!
Following successful events since 2018 to raise the awareness of flax and the linen heritage in Scotland, Our Linen Stories are inviting community gardens to contact them to receive long fibre flax seeds and grow a patch of flax. Community gardens will be joining others across Scotland, Sweden and Pennsylvania to learn, share stories and take part in a special harvest exhibition in September.
Dandelion - Sow, Grow, Share
Dandelion is a six-month creative celebration of growing, music and community following the growing season from April to September 2022. Commissioned by EventScotland and funded via the Scottish Government Dandelion is Scotland’s contribution to UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK 
There will be many events across the country including starting and ending the summer with two major three-day Festivals – open to everyone and completely free.
The Dandelion website also offers lots of growing advice from seasonal tips, growing in small places and school-based grow cubes.

Glasgow Active Travel Strategy
With a vision to make walking, wheeling and cycling the first and natural choice for everyday journey the Glasgow Active Travel Strategy 2022-2031 has been launched. The city is looking at rebalancing of street and place to create a cohesive, safe and pleasant environments for everyday active journeys.
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

Rewilding London - taskforce to bring wildlife back to the city
London will be “rewilded” with new nature reserves, pocket parks and community involvement to bring nature back to the capital. The plans are to support nature recovery and enhance biodiversity, while bringing benefits to Londoners and addressing the climate and ecological emergency. A group of rewilding experts commissioned by the mayor, Sadiq Khan, are in the early stages of drawing up the proposal.

Gillyflower – an “edible” and green golf course
From the creators behind the Eden project,Gillyflower will revive the remains of the old Lostwithiel golf and country club, which closed in 2014, and was reclaimed by scrub and gorse. Each of the nine holes on the course is being planted with fruit and nut trees and vegetables, while hedges and rough areas will be maintained to benefit wildlife and the greens and fairways will be managed in as environmentally friendly way as possible.
‘Panoramic Sky Gardens’ unveiled
Landmark Pinnacle has unveiled the ‘Panoramic Sky Gardens’ occupying the entire 27th floor of the UK’s tallest residential tower. The tropical garden with over 3,500 plants has a space dedicated for children’s play and the indoor garden offers residents the opportunity to connect with nature and socialise with other residents against a backdrop of London’s East and West Skylines.
Are pop-up urban farms the way to a happier and healthier workforce?
Future thinking companies are exploring a more sustainable approach to their office environment and introducing multi-purpose productive workplace urban farms for staff. The Sustainable Landscape Company has designed and created a sustainable and innovative urban farm tailored specifically for the office and workplace and has launched this at their nursery in Melbourne, Australia
Nature Connection Handbook published
The Nature Connectedness Research Group has produced a handbook to highlight ways to help people get closer to nature. As well as explaining the concept of nature connection and why it is important, the handbook includes some insightful case studies and resources.

Racial Equity in Nature – toolkit published
Research shows that the environment sector is the second least racially diverse sector in the UK, after farming - just 3.1% of the sector's workforce comes from a minority ethnic background. The Heritage Fund has created a toolkit to support organisations in the natural heritage sector to develop inclusive and equitable approaches to the recruitment and retention of early career talent, with a particular focus on young people aged 18-25 from ethnically diverse communities.


Nature helps our mental health, but we need to feel safe to access it
The Mental Health Foundation’s research into loneliness found that 69% of Scottish adults said connecting with nature has been important in terms of managing their mental health during the pandemic. However, the poll found a significant gender gap: not feeling physically safe/safe from harm had hindered 26% of UK women from enjoying nature, compared to 9% of UK men. Over one third of those surveyed said that improving the quality of public greenspaces (i.e. cleanliness, safety, and/or accessibility (can help tackle loneliness. The report also notes that poorly maintained parks and greenspaces, particularly in deprived urban areas, are barriers to connecting with nature which is fundamental to our mental health.
Nature on prescription research trial
A team from Exeter and Plymouth Universities have been awarded funds by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to conduct a feasibility study of nature-based activities reached through social prescribing. The work will help prepare for a full Randomised Controlled Trial which will help clarify whether such activities are effective in protecting and improving the mental health of participants with diagnosed conditions such as depression and anxiety. The team will work with the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, and Newquay Orchard.
Spending time in nature influences your food choices
Published in the American Journal of Health Promotion this new study claims just a couple hours spent outdoors can influence your food choices, getting you to consume more produce and increase healthy eating. Researchers surveyed 317 adults living in Philadelphia to measure their connection to nature, along with the foods and beverages they’d consumed the previous day. Results showed that those who spent more time outdoors and had a positive perspective about nature ate a more varied diet, and particularly more fruits and vegetables compared to those without that connection.
Potential of urban greenspaces for supporting horticultural production
This report found 26 urban towns and cities across the UK have urban greenspaces with the capacity to support production that is eight times greater than current domestic production of fruit and vegetables. The study highlights national policies could be developed to support urban agriculture and that making use of urban greenspaces for food production could help to enhance the resilience of the national-scale food system.
The value of urban nature-based solutions
The UK Green Building Council has published guidance, created collaboratively with the Value of Urban NBS task group, to help users define the benefits and value they can draw from urban nature-based solutions. It aims to further mainstream nature-based solutions across industry, supporting users to develop their own business cases for investment, delivery, and maintenance of urban nature-based solutions.
Tree coverage and cooling within and beyond greenspace
It is accepted that tree coverage strongly influences the cooling within a greenspace, this research looked at the cooling effects within and beyond greenspace. It confirms that canopy size and tree number influenced the cooling impact and shows how small topographic modifications can enhance the cooling effect on adjacent open space.
Fields in Trust launch annual 'Green Space Index' report
The Green Space Index is an annual report from Fields in Trust which analyses the provision of parks and greenspaces across England, Scotland and Wales. Headline findings show that 2.8 million people do not have a greenspace within a 10-minute walk from home; there is an average of 30 square metres of greenspace per person across GB and 6% of greenspace is legally protected in perpetuity.

Sustrans Walking and Cycling Index
The Walking and Cycling Index (formerly Bike Life) is the biggest assessment of walking, wheeling and cycling in cities and urban areas across the UK and Ireland. This year, for the first time, walking and wheeling has been included in the report. 

Sustrans have published a number of reports on the progress made towards making walking, wheeling and cycling more attractive, everyday ways to travel. Individual reports are available for the following cities - Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee, Stirling, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Since Sustrans first reported in 2015, this data has informed policy decisions, justified investment and enabled cities to develop more ambitious action plans for walking, wheeling and cycling.

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 

Highland Green Health Small Grant Fund 22
For projects up to £1500 that can be delivered before the end of August 2023. The aim of the fund is to contribute towards sustained green health action across Highland. This could be through networking, training, resource creation and other activities that help to build capacity to continue green health opportunities into the future. Closes 10 June
Food for Thought Education Fund 2022-23 – Education Scotland
The Fund allows Local Authority Primary and Secondary Schools and Early Learning and Childcare settings to apply for grants of up to £3000 to develop projects that support the aims of the Fund – food education and relating projects to the world of work, to reducing food waste and to learning through farm visits. Closes 22 June.
Vacant and Derelict Land Investment Programme (VDLIP) – Scottish Government
Local Authorities and Clyde Gateway URC eligible to apply. Stage 1 applications are sought from developed project proposals which that will be ready to be delivered in 2023/24 if funded. Closes 24 June
Empowering Communities Fund – Scottish Government
Scottish Government challenge fund that reflects their commitment to investing in communities so that they can develop the resources and resilience to decide their own aspirations, priorities and solutions in response. Closes 28 June
Heritage and Place Programme – Historic Environment Scotland
An area-based funding programme that aims to contribute to the development of vibrant and sustainable places through community-led regeneration of the historic environment. It supports the development and delivery of heritage focused schemes within conservation areas, or alternatively distinctive heritage areas with local authority recognition. Development stage can include community engagement, audits, asset surveys. Expression of Interest (EOI) for initial development stage funding to be submitted by 31 July.
Community-Led Activities and Wellbeing – National Lottery Community Fund
Voluntary or community organisations can apply for between £10K and £150K to support communities to improve the places in which they live and the wellbeing of those most in need. Closes 22 September
Action Earth 2022 – Volunteering Matters
150 nature grants (up to £250) to support volunteers carrying out improvements and habitat creation in local green spaces, helping local communities respond to our nature and climate crises. Projects must be completed by end of January 2023
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, schools, social housing providers and health partnerships. greenspace scotland’s team of Community Enablers 

Jobs and volunteering

Native Woods Project Officer Community Woodlands Association  
The Native Woods Project Officer will work with four community woodland groups in Argyll and Highland to identify and where possible quantify the economic and social benefits of their current and planned activities and projects. Closing date 3 June
Business Outreach Coordinator Greener Kirkcaldy  
Greener Kirkcaldy are looking for a part-time Business Outreach Coordinator to join their team and lead on the delivery of the ‘Climate friendly business’ strand of their work. This is a new post. You will engage and support micro and small businesses, community buildings and third sector organisations on energy efficiency, renewable energy generation and waste reduction. Closing date 6 June
Development Worker Cycling Outreach Greener Kirkcaldy 
Greener Kirkcaldy are looking for two people with proven experience of delivering practical cycling activities, and a passion for engaging communities in active travel to lead on the delivery of Greener Kirkcaldy’s cycling behaviour change activities. You will have excellent organisational skills, the ability to work with a range of people, work well in a team and use your own initiative too. Closing date 6 June
Delivery Manager, Education & Young People and Communities Sustrans Edinburgh or Glasgow 
The post holder will lead a team to develop and implement projects and programmes designed to get more young people and communities walking and cycling. They will also develop and maintain relationships with central and local government, active travel delivery partners, Transport Scotland and other key people, using these networks to provide training and events for local authorities. Closing date 12 June
Finance Manager Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust 
ELGT is looking to appoint a permanent Finance Manager. Responsible for the management and oversight of the financial and accounting functions and to assist the Chief Executive in the smooth and efficient operation of the Trust. Closing date 15 June

Events and training

10 June - Forest Science Seminar from Forest Research
Public Perceptions of Urban Trees presented by Dr Bianca Ambrose-Oji and hosted by Dr Kieron Doick. 

11 June - Balfron Eco Festival  
The Balfron Eco Festival takes place June between 11am and 4pm at various locations around the village- check out the programme
13 June - SSCAN Networking Café Transport (online) 
Join SCCAN for a networking café on Transport: Car sharing, Bikes, active travel, modal shifts and more. Share experience, ideas, challenges, and questions! This will be followed by networking and small group discussions. Book 
To 24 June: Over the garden wall – 50 years at Dundee Botanic Gardens
The exhibition tells this story of the Dundee Botanic Gardens through some of the people who helped create and shape the Garden.
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.

Catch up
Green Health Webinar: Activating Greater use of greenspace for health and wellbeing.
Event recording is now available and you can also download the speaker presentations from event resources
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.

If you find any story or event featured in the ebulletin worth passing on, please do! All we ask is that you credit greenspace scotland as your source. You don't need to ask our permission to use greenspace scoland ebulletin copy, but we kindly ask you to inform us if you do.

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