Green Funding Boost for Educational Spaces in Central Scotland

Educational establishments in Central Scotland, keen to improve their grounds, local green spaces and woodlands, can now benefit from an extension to the Central Scotland Green Network’s (CSGN) Learning Outdoors Fund.

The CSGN Learning Outdoors Fund, supported by Forestry Commission Scotland, is now in its second year.  It aims to promote learning and play outdoors and healthier lifestyles amongst the education communities by backing the development of the outdoor space around nurseries and schools.

Schools and nurseries across Central Scotland can apply for a grant of between £200 and £350 to develop the outdoor educational space within their grounds and beyond, to encourage more children to participate in outdoor learning and natural play.  The grant can be used to either develop the space or purchase equipment to use for learning or play outside.

Funding is also available to support training or other educational resources to enable staff to lead outdoor learning and natural play.

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City of Edinburgh Council leads the Green Way


The City of Edinburgh Council is the first Council to sign up to the CSGN’s Local Authority Concordat, which recognises its commitment to formally help deliver the CSGN vision and highlights the fundamental role local authorities have to play in helping to achieve the network’s aims.

The City of Edinburgh Council has pledged to embed the CSGN in all relevant policies, strategies and plans and to promote connectivity and multifunctional use of all types of greenspace at a range of scales in both urban and rural areas. The Council has also committed to identifying opportunities and priority areas for Green Network enhancement to target available resources and facilitate its delivery.

Keith Geddes, Chair of the Central Scotland Green Network Partnership Board, said: “In order to achieve the CSGN aims of delivering a high quality green network that will meet the Scottish Government’s environmental, social and economic objectives, we need to share resources, best practice and new thinking.

“Our Local Authority Concordat represents a collective understanding that working in partnership will ensure policies and resources are aligned and will in turn achieve the optimum results for all parties involved. I hugely welcome the fact that the City of Edinburgh Council has come on board and we look forward to building on our relationship to create a lasting legacy for the future.”

Cllr Andrew Burns, Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, said: "By signing up to the network we are underlining the capital coalition's commitment to a greener Edinburgh.

“We already help to create a better environment through our work on parks and other green spaces, routes for walking and cycling, and efforts to reduce our own impact as an organisation. But we can also further support the network's objectives through our approach to community plans and the built environment."


CSGN Initiative Brings John Muir Home


Over 150 invited guests attended a reception organised by the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) last night (13th September), to highlight the network’s plans for developing The John Muir Coast to Coast Trail, as part of the celebrations to commemorate the centenary of the Scots born naturalist’s death in 2014.

The reception, ‘Bringing John Muir Home’, was held at the Scottish Parliament Garden Lobby and sponsored by Colin Beattie MSP, member for Midlothian North & Musselburgh. 

The CSGN will be opening The John Muir Coast to Coast Trail in April 2014, one of many events that will take place during the year to celebrate Muir’s life and honour his legacy.  This new route will run from Dunbar to Helensburgh, passing through nine council areas and the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.  It will include the Dunbar to Musselburgh section of the existing John Muir Way in East Lothian.

During the reception broadcaster and wilderness hiker Cameron McNeish (pictured above) provided commentary about John Muir and long distance routes, along with Derek Mackay MSP, Minister for Local Government and Planning, who commented on the project’s vision.

Collin Beattie MSP    

Derek Mackay said: "The international esteem in which John Muir is rightly held will help raise the profile of the excellent environmental work being done by the Central Scotland Green Network partners, ensuring that everyone is made aware of the varied outdoor leisure and recreational opportunities on offer in Central Scotland."

Cameron McNeish said: “I am delighted that Scotland is re-claiming John Muir as one of our own.  His wisdom and his philosophy is as important in 21st century Scotland as it was in late 19th century California and we would do well to listen again to his vital messages about how we look after the planet.  Muir believed passionately in encouraging people to get out into the green places and I'm sure the new John Muir Coast to Coast Trail will do just that."

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It is anticipated that the extended route will not only celebrate John Muir, but also create significant and lasting economic benefit.   A recent study commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage estimates that some 700 jobs could be created over the first five years of the route’s existence with an additional 9,000 end to end users over the first year.

Read the article about this project on the John Muir Trust website.

Making the most of communities natural assets


The Scottish Government has published an information note aimed at community planning partnerships, economic regeneration partnerships and members on making the most of communities natural assets in terms of green infrastructure.

In this note, green infrastructure is defined as healthy soils, clean rivers, wnatural habitats, wild species and landscapes; peatbog, woodlands, tidal mudflats, underwater reefs, urban parks and greenspaces. The note explains how communities and those who serve them can use land and water in a way which works with nature to sustain the benefits nature provides. It suggests some practical steps to make the most of green infrastructure and provides links to further information and examples.

The note is part of a suit of documents that site alongside the Land Use Strategy. It is available to view online or download as a pdf here.

Outstanding Achievement Recognition for Falkirk Greenspace


The Falkirk Greenspace Initiative (FGI) scooped the top award at this year's planning ‘Oscars’.

The Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning 2012 recognised the innovative and visionary project which went on to be the overall winner taking the evening’s top award for outstanding achievement.

More than 1.3 million trees have been planted and over 260km of paths created or upgraded since the FGI was formed by Falkirk Council and Central Scotland Forest Trust (CSFT) twenty years ago. A mosaic of community woodlands connected by local access networks has provided a major recreational resource for local people and visitors as well as an attractive framework for new developments of all kinds.

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Dale Bridge Grand Opening in Denny


On Saturday 1 September Keith Geddes, Chair of the Central Scotland Green Network, attended the official opening of Dale Bridge. The bridge is an important crossing point over the River Carron that has been used for 120 years.

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Launching Soon: Learning Outdoors Fund


The CSGN Learning Outdoors Fund 2012 will be launch in September. The fund will be available to all educational establishments within the CSGN area to help them improve their grounds and local greenspaces to enable more children to participate in learning outdoors and natural play.

An audit tool is available to help establishments identify where there may be gaps in their provision for learning outdoors (in both school grounds and local woods and greenspace) and hence where you may best target your efforts, including a grant from the CSGN Learning Outdoors Fund.

Further details about the fund will be released in September 2012 and send out through our Network News mailing list.

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