Greenspace for Health & Well-being

An increasing number of Local Authorities are working to increase the proportion of households located within 300m of green space, which is being actively managed for community use. Targeted demonstration projects are in place within two local authorities to support increasing levels of physical activity in the outdoors and NHS Greenspace projects have been developed within each NHS Board. It is hoped that these projects will demonstrate good practice in the management and use of the outdoors across a range of settings.

Two strands of work have been progressed since 2011, Greening the NHS Estate and Health Promoting Environments. Work on making greenspace improvements to the NHS Estates has included developing and beginning to implement a woodland management plan for the grounds of Ailsa & Ayr Hospital and development of a site masterplan and detailed proposals for Gartnavel Hospital. Major works have been completed at the Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert where the woodland has been managed, invasive vegetation has been removed from around Larbert Loch and the woodland areas and a new lochside path and a network of woodland trails have been created. The works have allowed access to the hospital grounds for staff, patients and local people. An onsite Ranger has lead Branching Out and Cardiac Rehabilitation activities in partnership with NHS clinicians. At the Royal Edinburgh Hospital a path improvement project is under way and there are plans being developed to manage the woodlands. At Little France connections to the wider regeneration area are being developed by PARC Craigmillar. Three new build HUBco Community Health Centres in East Kilbride, Wishaw and Kilsyth are currently being assessed by the Green Exercise Partnership for suitability as Greening NHS estate demonstration projects in Lanarkshire.

A Physical Activity brief advice pilot has been developed with NHS Health Scotland and will take place in six Area Health Boards including Ayrshire & Arran and Lothian in the CSGN area. The Green Exercise Partnership has helped to support the production of resources for participating patients on physical activity and recreation in outdoor settings.

A pilot programme to promote information on local greenspace as healthcare settings - Local Green Exercise Asset - will be tested during 2013-14. The aim of the project is to work with a number of GP practices, hospitals and day care centres to provide user-friendly information on local green assets to encourage people to take healthy exercise.

To help improve employment prospects in the CSGN area, we aim by 2016 to ensure that:

  • NHS Greenspace projects have been developed within each NHS Board area to demonstrate good practice in the management and use of the outdoors across a range of health care settings.
  • Targeted demonstration projects are in place within two local authorities to support increasing levels of physical activity in the outdoors.
  • More Local Authority SOAs include indicators on levels of access to greenspace (compared to the 2012 baseline) and/or levels of outdoor activity.

This work is being taken forward by Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).