The 2018 CSGN Annual Review is now available to download.
Keith Geddes, Chair at the Central Scotland Green Network Trust, provided the following foreword for the review:
"This is our seventh CSGN Annual Review and I am pleased to report on another year of progress and consolidation. It is particularly encouraging to note how the CSGN is being included in policies and programmes from the national to local levels. It is also exciting to see more and more projects taking place on the ground. These projects make crucial improvements to people’s lives in a multitude of ways.
Through the third National Planning Framework, the Scottish Government has asked us to deliver on improving active travel, the removal of vacant and derelict land and to focus on disadvantaged communities. Thanks to the commitment of our partnership, the CSGN has continued to make great progress on each of these areas of work.
For example, as summarised in this review partners have made active travel improvements in Edinburgh, worked on plans to create new greenspace in disadvantaged areas of Glasgow and created a vibrant community asset out of a vacant and derelict land site in North Lanarkshire.
The CSGN delivers on core aspects of the Scottish Government’s ambitions, health for example. The 2017-18 Programme for Government sets out the goal to make Scotland the best place in the world to be cared for and be healthy. It seeks to do this using an approach that prioritises prevention, early intervention and self-management over more reactive and remedial health care approaches.
The evidence is clear and unequivocal, natural environments have a positive effect on physical and mental health. Greater proximity to greenspace is associated with lower prevalence of a number of diseases, reduced premature mortality and improved mental health and wellbeing. Indeed, for some outcomes, particularly mental health, the effect has been shown to be greater for those on lower incomes, demonstrating the potential of greenspace to reduce health inequalities.
The Programme for Government also seeks to make Scotland the best place in Europe in which to do business in through an economic strategy based upon two key pillars - increasing competitiveness and tackling inequality. Again, as demonstrated in this review, the CSGN delivers on both of these themes.
Firstly, by helping to make central Scotland a more attractive place to live in, do business in and to visit and, secondly, by creating and supporting projects that target and tackle social and economic disadvantage. The CSGN is, therefore, a key lever for success. Supporting the continued development of the CSGN is a direct investment in our economy and our future.
This year, Scottish Government’s commitment to increasing active travel was further emphasised by a doubling of the budget to £80m. This is great news for the CSGN and our partners including Paths for All, Living Streets Scotland, Cycling Scotland and Sustrans. The work of Sustrans Scotland is profiled in this review.
Another notable funding announcement this year was a further £8 million from the Scottish Government for the Peatland ACTION project. This is led by SNH and also profiled in this review.
The projects and initiatives outlined is this review are only a snapshot of what has been achieved over the past year. As outlined in our Delivery Plan 2025, over the coming years we will continue to work towards the full realisation of the CSGN and through this the delivery of countless social, environmental and economic benefits throughout the central belt."
Chair, Central Scotland Green Network Trust