Stretching from Girvan in the Southwest to Leven and Dunbar in the East, the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) is Europe's largest greenspace initiative. Its vision is to transform Central Scotland into a place where the environment adds value to the economy and where people's lives are enriched by its quality. It works to create a good quality environment that promotes health and wellbeing, facilitates outdoor recreation and active travel, and supports social interaction and community cohesion.
The CSGN Support Unit sought to create a dataset of 10 key indicators that captured the starting point of the CSGN in 2010. These indicators would be used to help track the progress of the CSGN towards their ambition of delivering a step change in environmental quality by 2050. As part of this study, the CSGN support unit undertook three pieces of research culminating in three reports.
The CSGN Support Unit recognises the long term benefits of community greenspaces to health and wellbeing. With this in mind, it sought to identify opportunities for the development of community greenspace near hospitals and health facilities. To achieve this, a map was created showing the locations of these facilities within the CSGN area, and a list of key decision makers within the NHS and other agencies was produced to aid future dialogue.
Community growing spaces such as allotments, orchards and community gardens support physical and dietary health, mental wellbeing, and community cohesion. However, demand for land for food growing and horticultural activities has, in recent years, outstripped traditional sources of supply. The CSGN works to encourage and support the creation and expansion of community growing initiatives across the CSGN area. To facilitate this activity, existed community growing spaces were mapped and audited, and a list was created of key individuals and organisations with an interest in developing community growing initiatives.
To support the delivery of new opportunities for outdoor learning and play, the CSGN Support Unit created a map showing the locations of educational grounds within the CSGN area. A basic analysis of this data was undertaken in relation to distribution of these grounds and further opportunities for outdoor learning and play were identified.
To assist in the delivery of this project, the CSGN Support Unit employed three graduates on a short-term basis, providing them with valuable work experience at a time when graduates were finding it hard to break into the jobs market.
The research undertaken as part of this part project has resulted in the production of new datasets. These datasets demonstrate the starting point of the CSGN in 2010, and will be used to identify and monitor opportunities for the development of high quality greenspace for health and wellbeing, community growing, and learning and development.
In delivering this project, the CSGN Support Unit identified a number of barriers which impede research on greenspace provision. For example, it was found that spatial data is not commonly available across the health and education sectors. The CSGN Support Unit has worked to overcome these barriers by creating maps and datasets which can be used by project partners across the CSGN area.
The information gathered during this project was presented to the CSGN Board along with recommendations for further action. For example, the surveys have demonstrated that spatial data is not commonly available across the Health or Education sectors and that further action will be required to address information gaps.
These reports are available upon request from Stephen Hughes at the CSGN Support Unit.
|2010||CSGN Development Fund||24,647|