Fife Council signed its concordat in November 2013. 

The Council has made the following commitments towards realising the CSGN:

  • Audit all vacant and derelict land within the Fife CSGN area and examine the feasibility of improving biodiversity and recreation.
  • Use the Integrated Habitat Network tool for the delivery of CSGN priorities in planning.
  • Promote and support community growing initiatives and encourage the development of rural skills training in partnership with local communities and other agencies.
  • Continue to develop and manage routes for public access, including the Core Path Network, Fife Coastal Path, cycleways and the proposed Pilgrim’s Route.
  • Finalise new Green Infrastructure Supplementary Planning Guidance for open space and new development planning processes.
  • Improve access to life-enhancing green spaces through the implementation of Fife’s Green Space Strategy.
  • Maintain and improve access to Fife’s beaches and demonstrate the quality of these facilities through an ongoing commitment to securing Seaside Awards and Blue Flags.
  • Deliver duties under the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 to further the conservation of biodiversity and adopt the goals of the UN Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.
  • Integrate the Government’s ‘ecosystem approach’ to decisions affecting land use.
  • Manage, conserve and enhance the biodiversity and countryside of Fife in partnership with the Fife Coast & Countryside Trust, LFGNP and other partners.
  • Identify and protect green networks in key settlements in Fife and identify opportunities for their enhancement through the relevant Local Development Plan.

Since signing the Concordat, the Council has been very actively working to meet its commitments to realise the CSGN in Fife:

Vacant & Derelict Land

CSGNT worked with Lothian & Fife Green Network Partnership (LFGNP) to carry out a vacant and derelict land survey of Fife. Fife Council (FC) with the aid of Scottish Government funding carried out a “Charette” development planning event to masterplan the derelict land at Victoria Road, Kirkcaldy.

FC was successful in gaining Stalled Spaces Scotland funding from Architecture & Design Scotland and has so far funded a moveable orchard for a derelict site in Kirkcaldy

Integrated Habitat Network tool

The Integrated Habitat Network tool is now used extensively by the Planning team to inform and develop green networks and support and protect biodiversity infrastructure.

Community growing initiatives

FC has been strengthening the provision of allotments and a new allotment in Glenrothes will open in the spring of 2016. FC worked with Floral Action Burntisland to create a new orchard for the town. FC’s Edible And Tasty Spaces (EATS) Project which works with community groups to grow and harvest vegetables in public spaces continued to expand with new EATS in Rosyth, Burntisland and Markinch.

Rural Skills Training

CSGN Development Funding won by the core path and greenspace team supported a training project for young unemployed people. Over three years the team has worked on upgrading, signing and opening up the core path network in Fife. The model of using young unemployed people, working with Council staff and community volunteers proved to be very successful, winning a Bronze Award in the COSLA Excellence Awards 2015, and being used as a basis for the development of the Fife Community Works Project across Fife.

Public Access and the Pilgrim’s Route

CSGN Development Funding also supported the development of the Pilgrims Route, a new long distance path across Fife, initially by funding the employment of a feasibility officer, jointly with Scotways, and then by funding infrastructure improvements in Crosshill at Ballingry and Balcurvie in Kennoway. Further to this the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust has taken forward further grant applications to external sources, which if successful will allow the full route to be developed and launchedby mid-2017.

FC gained funding through SUSTRANS community links programme to develop a cycle training programme for Glenrothes and investment in cycle paths in Dunfermline.

Green Infrastructure Guidance

Green Infrastructure Supplementary Guidance has been replaced by Making Fife’s Places which includes guidance on green infrastructure. 

Green Space Strategy

The Fife Greenspace Strategy 2011 – 2016 has proved successful in integrating greenspace principles into council policy, identifying greenspaces that need to be improved, and aiding in the funding of improvements. The strategy highlighted the need to improve the Lyneburn corridor. Working with LFGNP and SEPA, through its Water Environment Fund, the Council is working on an urban river restoration project of the Lyneburn in Dunfermline which will act as a base for a green link between the town centre and the eastern suburbs.

Biodiversity

Get Fife Buzzing is a three year project through Buglife which is under way to establish twelve hectares of long grass, pollinating areas in parks and greenspace all across Fife.

Green networks in key settlements

Appendix H of Making Fife’s Places Supplementary Guidance contains guidance on opportunities for greenspace enhancement and identifies development plan priorities for 73 green networks in and around settlements in the CSGN area of Fife.