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Learning outdoors

Sally York, Education Policy Advisor, Forestry Commission Scotland and Morag Muschate, Pupils Support Assistant and Carrie Quine, Lead Teacher, A Farm in the School, Inverness High School

Learning outdoors, be this in streets, playgrounds, parks or natural environments, actively engages young people and connects their broader learning with the world around them. Over the last 20 years, Forestry Commission Scotland has introduced Forest School and developed Forest Kindergarten courses for education practitioners.  Building on this experience, the Outdoor & Woodland Learning Scotland (OWLS) network of local groups helps to link people involved in learning outdoors together to run events including training programmes for teachers. This session will explore these concepts using A Farm in the School at Inverness High School as a live case study. Here pupils are encouraged to learn outdoors, to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs. We are also addressing and raising awareness of the declining Bumble Bee Population through ‘Operation Pollination’ by growing lots of wildflowers to feed the bees and other pollinators. Pupils fund this through Enterprise projects.


The healing power of greenspace

Katherine Irvine, Senior Researcher – Environment, Wellbeing and Sustainable Behaviour, The James Hutton Institute and Rania Qussasi, YS Coordinator, Young Saheliya

This session will focus on the health and wellbeing aspects of greenspace. The Green Health project, which has been led by the James Hutton Institute, has explored the relationship between greenspace and people’s health and wellbeing. The research findings show that regular use of urban green and open spaces can contribute to public health and wellbeing, particularly mental wellbeing due, for example, to social contact or meaningful engagement with the environment. Additional related research has found that local people are keen to participate in decisions about their local greenspaces and to be involved in ongoing maintenance of these places.  Saheliya’s Community Garden in Glasgow was built in 2016 with funding from the Climate Challenge Fund.  It was built on a small piece of vacant and derelict land which was further developed in 2017 with funding, design and technical support provided by: the Climate Challenge Fund, Transform Fund and Royal Horticultural Society’s Greening Grey Britain campaign.  Over 50 BEM girls and women (many of whom have come to Scotland to escape wars, exploitation and violence) have helped create this garden ‘oasis’  giving participants a sense of community, individual worth, renewed purpose and nutritious produce. 


Greenspace as a training opportunity

Colin Higgins, YES Works Manager, Young Enterprise Scotland and Alan Forrester, Project Manager, Scottish Waterways Trust

Our session on training uses the experiences of two very successful programmes to explore how to reach, support and train young people who (because of a range of issues) are furthest from the world of employment. Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) has been working for 40 years to inspire and equip young people to learn and succeed through enterprise. The YES Academy, based at Rouken Glen Park, offers specific training for unemployed, 18 to 25 year olds from Greater Glasgow. Through a new social business, YES Works, landscape gardening services are provided to local authorities, housing associations, businesses and private homes in the West of Scotland.  With support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and other funders, Canal College, designed and run by the Scottish Waterways Trust, delivers training programmes in Falkirk, West Dumbarton and Inverness for 16 -30 year old, unemployed young people.  The programme offers participants the opportunity to earn a variety of qualifications, certificates and awards including SQA Awards in Cultural Heritage Award and Working Safely, as well as gaining practical work experience.  The ‘college’ is the canals which are Scheduled Ancient Monuments and where the youngsters carve a future from the past.


Having impact as a young professional

Heather Claridge, Senior Project Officer, Glasgow City Council, Lisa Proudfoot, Planning Consultant, Montagu Evans and Jay Skinner, Graduate Planner, Fife Council

Studying is over and it’s time to think about full-time work but what’s it like for young people entering the world of the built environment professions. Are you concerned about being taken seriously? Do your older colleagues respect you views and ideas? Representing the young professional groups in the Academy of Urbanism and the Royal Town Planning Institute, this session will build on the experiences of three young professionals currently working in the public sector and the private sector in Scotland. In this session you will learn what you can do to be seen, to be heard and to make an impact.


The relevance of play for children and their parents - tackling fears, providing challenge  

Rebecca O’Berg, Strategic Lead: Play & Early Years, Eureka! The National Children's Museum and Grace Lamont, Head of Play Services at Jeely Piece Club

Children now spend less than half the time their parents did playing outdoors.  In part this is around availability of parental time but is also linked to parental fears around child safety.  During the school summer holidays of 2014, Eureka! The National Children's Museum, based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, conducted a survey of over 2,500 children aged 5-11 years and adults to find answers to a range of questions around play and its role in the lives and development of children today. This workshop will explore some of the findings and possible answers from this research and consider how projects like the Jeely Piece Club in Glasgow’s Castlemilk area, demonstrate quite clearly how play, especially in the outdoors, is improving the lives and life chances of children and benefitting their parents and the wider community.


How young people can help older people access the outdoors

Christine Bell of Cycling Without Age Scotland and volunteer Daniel Porter, Head Boy at Larbert High School

The Cycling Without Age concept was founded in Denmark in 2012 by Dorthe Pedersen and Ole Kassow. The duo wanted to help elderly people get back on their bicycles, but they had to find a solution to their limited mobility. The answer was a trishaw and they started offering free bike rides to the residents of local nursing homes. Following a successful pilot phase in 2016/17 brought to Falkirk by Communities Along the Carron Association, the group are now being funded by the Scottish Government to extend Cycling Without Age over the whole of Scotland. This work shop will explain the many benefits of the programme to the young(er) volunteer cyclists and their passengers, and look at how nursing homes, city councils and voluntary groups can all get engaged in running programmes like this to get younger and older people engaged in outdoor activities.


Designing for and with children

Felicity Steers, CMLI, Director and Murray McKellar ARB, Associate, ERZ

The award-winning landscape practice erz has developed considerable experience in designing outdoor spaces for and with children, including nurseries, primary schools, community gardens and hospitals.  This workshop provides an opportunity to learn how and when to engage children and young people in the design process to create meaningful and valued spaces which maximise health, learning and social outcomes for children, and their parents, teachers and carers. Felicity and Murray from erz are currently developing the outdoor design for the East Ayrshire Council prototype nursery for the Scottish Futures Trust with Norr Architects. They were also the team behind the multi-award winning Arcadia Nursery at Edinburgh University.

What is this Privacy Policy for?

This privacy policy is for this website and served by Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT) [] and governs the privacy of its users who choose to use it.

The policy sets out the different areas where user privacy is concerned and outlines the obligations and requirements of the users, the website and website owners. Furthermore the way this website processes, stores and protects user data and information will also be detailed within this policy.

The Website

This website and its owners take a proactive approach to user privacy and ensure the necessary steps are taken to protect the privacy of its users throughout their visiting experience. This website complies to all UK national laws and requirements for user privacy.

Use of Cookies

This website uses cookies to better the users experience while visiting the website. Where applicable this website uses a cookie control system allowing the user on their first visit to the website to allow or disallow the use of cookies on their computer / device. This complies with legislation requirements for websites to obtain explicit consent from users before leaving behind or reading files such as cookies on a user’s computer / device.

Cookies are small files saved to the user’s computer’s hard drive that track, save and store information about the user’s interactions and usage of the website. This allows the website, through its server to provide the users with a tailored experience within this website.
Users are advised that if they wish to deny the use and saving of cookies from this website on to their computers hard drive they should take necessary steps within their web browsers security settings to block all cookies from this website and its external serving vendors.

This website uses tracking software to monitor its visitors to better understand how they use it. This software is provided by Google Analytics which uses cookies to track visitor usage. The software will save a cookie to your computer’s hard drive in order to track and monitor your engagement and usage of the website but will not store, save or collect personal information. You can read Google's privacy policy here for further information [ ].

Contact and Communication

Users contacting this website and/or its owners do so at their own discretion and provide any such personal details requested at their own risk.

This website and its owners use any information submitted to provide you with further information about the products / services they offer or to assist you in answering any questions or queries you may have submitted. This includes using your details to subscribe you to any email newsletter program CSGNT operates but only if this was made clear to you and your express permission was granted when submitting any email. Please read below for our privacy policy regarding email newsletters. Your details are not passed on to any third parties.

Email Newsletter

CSGNT operates an email newsletter program, used to inform subscribers about products and services supplied by this website and its owners. Users can subscribe through an online automated process should they wish to do so but do so at their own discretion. Some subscriptions may be manually processed through prior agreement with the user. CSGNT uses MailChimp as its marketing automation platform. MailChimp process your data in accordance with their Privacy Policy [] and Terms []. MailChimp participates in and has certified its compliance with the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework and the Swiss-U.S Privacy Shield Framework. 

All personal details relating to subscriptions are held securely. No personal details are passed on to third parties nor shared with companies / people outside of the company that operates this website. You may request a copy of personal information held about you by CSGNT's email newsletter program. If you would like a copy of the information held on you please write to the business address at the bottom of this policy.

Email marketing campaigns published by this website or its owners may contain tracking facilities within the actual email. Subscriber activity is tracked and stored in a database for future analysis and evaluation. Such tracked activity may include; the opening of emails, forwarding of emails, the clicking of links within the email content, times, dates and frequency of activity [this is by no far a comprehensive list]. This information is used to refine future email campaigns and supply the user with more relevant content based around their activity.

Subscribers are given the opportunity to unsubscribe at any time through an automated system. This process is detailed at the footer of each email campaign. Alternatively, users can unsubscribe here or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

External Links

Although this website only looks to include quality, safe and relevant external links users should always adopt a policy of caution before clicking any external web links mentioned throughout this website.

The owners of this website cannot guarantee or verify the contents of any externally linked website despite their best efforts. Users should therefore note they click on external links at their own risk and this website and its owners cannot be held liable for any damages or implications caused by visiting any external links mentioned.

Social Media Platforms

Communication, engagement and actions taken through external social media platforms that this website and its owners participate on are custom to the terms and conditions as well as the privacy policies held with each social media platform respectively.

Users are advised to use social media platforms wisely and communicate / engage upon them with due care and caution in regard to their own privacy and personal details. This website nor its owners will ever ask for personal or sensitive information through social media platforms and encourage users wishing to discuss sensitive details to contact them through primary communication channels such as by telephone or email.

This website may use social sharing buttons which help share web content directly from web pages to the social media platform in question. Users are advised before using such social sharing buttons that they do so at their own discretion and note that the social media platform may track and save your request to share a web page respectively through your social media platform account.

Shortened Links

This website and its owners through their social media platform accounts may share web links to relevant web pages. We may shorten lengthy urls [web addresses] (this is an example: 

Users are advised to take caution and good judgment before clicking any shortened urls published on social media platforms by this website and its owners. Despite the best efforts to ensure only genuine urls are published many social media platforms are prone to spam and hacking and therefore this website and its owners cannot be held liable for any damages or implications caused by visiting any shortened links.

Resources & Further Information

Free Website Privacy Policy written by Jamie King Media - Website Design in Pembrokeshire © 2013 - v.2.0 April 2013
Edited & customised by: Central Scotland Green Network Trust, Hillhouseridge, Shottskirk Road, Shotts, North Lanarkshire, ML7 4JS

SRDP 2014 - 2020 Forestry Grant Scheme
CSGN Contribution

New woodland creation and management of existing woodland will continue to be well-supported in the CSGN through the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) 2014 – 2020 Forestry Grant Scheme (FGS) which will be delivered jointly by Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) and Rural Payments and Inspections Division (RPID).

The FGS includes a new CSGN Contribution to support new woodland planting in the CSGN. Eligible proposals will receive either £2,500/ha or £750/ha on top of selected woodland creation planting option payments. New planting must support the delivery of the relevant Forestry & Woodland Strategy and payment is capped at 40ha per proposal.

How to Apply

The scheme is now open to applications. Further information regarding the application system can be found in the FCS Briefing Note 1.

Guidance and Eligibility

The CSGN Contribution is a capital item payment available on top of selected Woodland Creation Planting Options. Guidance on the CSGN Contribution is available on the FCS Forestry Grant Scheme Woodland Creation Options Guidance page which includes a link to the FCS Technical Support pages.

FCS’s Technical Support page hosts all of the additional information you will need to assess your eligibility and apply for the CSGN Contribution:

  • Eligible Planting Options and Payment Rates
  • Guidance to help you decide which CSGN Contribution rate applies
  • Guidance to help you use the information on the FCS Web Browser
  • Guidance on which planting option will help to deliver which woodland expansion type
  • Worked example to help you write your Supporting Statement
  • CSGN Contribution Supporting Statement template

Funding for urban woodland management will continue to be available through Woods In and Around Towns (WIAT) under the new Woodland Improvement Grants – WIAT and Sustainable Management of Forests - WIAT options.

A full overview of the new SRDP 2014 - 2020 is available at on the new Rural Payments and Services web portal.

Need Help?

For further information or queries regarding the CSGN Contribution or if you would like to discuss a potential woodland creation project in more detail, please contact:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
CSGN Woodland Creation Programme Manager
Forestry Commission Scotland

Further information on the FCS Forestry Grant Scheme

Our Vision for Central Scotland

‘By 2050, Central Scotland has been transformed into a place where the environment adds value to the economy and where people’s lives are enriched by its quality.’

The Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) will change the face of Central Scotland, by restoring and transforming the landscape of an area stretching from Ayrshire and Inverclyde in the west, to Fife and the Lothians in the east.

The CSGN is a national development within the National Planning Framework which aims to make ‘a significant contribution to Scotland's sustainable economic development’. It involves public agencies and stakeholders working together to align their policies, programmes and actions to achieve a common aim.