Over the past year we have profiled eighteen projects and initiatives taking place throughout the CSGN area. These have been well received with over 2500 individual downloads from our website. As we approach the end of 2012, we thought we’d take a few moments to find out what’s been happening to some of the projects and initiatives since their respective case studies were completed.
Some of our most popular case studies this year have focussed upon the community growing theme. For example, Royal Edinburgh Community Gardens has proved that underused NHS land can be brought into active use of great benefit to the local community. Since becoming the first CSGN case study in January, this approach has not only been rolled out onto other NHS Lothian sites but also the model has been adopted by other organisations within the central belt.
In a similar vein, Glasgow City Council’s Stalled Spaces initiative, profiled in June, has gone from strength to strength showing how it is possible to turn unloved and undervalued land into fantastic community resources. It is fair to say that the initiative has captured the imagination of Glasgow residents with a further 26 community based projects being funded and the development of links with youth and sporting groups, Glasgow Life and Glasgow Film Festival. It’s not just CSGN partners who recognise this project’s worth as it also picked up a Scottish Quality Award in Planning 2012 and.now has been shortlisted for a prestigious Eurocities award.
“The [case study] document was really useful in getting the message circulated to a wider audience. It also allowed for recognition of a local initiative at national level which in turn opened up further debate regards Stalled Sites, their impact on our communities and possible solutions across various local authorities and organisations.”
Seamus Connolly, Development & Regeneration Services, Glasgow City Council
Considering biodiversity and heritage, the East Ayrshire Coalfield Environment Initiative has been successful in accessing funding from Ayrshire LEADER and the Cumnock & Doon Valley Minerals Trust allowing it to work further on improving footpaths in and around New Cumnock and improving water quality and habitats for East Ayrshire’s wading birds. Another case study looking at research into wetland quality within the Forth Sub-Basin has also been taken forward with partner agencies adopting recommendations to improve CSGN rivers.
In the early part of the year we looked at the Barrhead Masterplan approach to embedding greenspace within the heart of a town centre redevelopment. This is quite literally paying dividends, generating developer planning obligations which will result in several projects specified in the Masterplan becoming a reality during 2013 and 2014.
Forth Valley Orchards has also made great progress with events such as the ‘Go Fruit & Nuts’ Weekend, holding further workshops and the recruitment of a specific Schools’ Orchard Project Officer. Providing greenspace needs for children is also the theme of one of the more recent cases studies profiling the work of Grounds for Learning who have continued to support and promote the concept of ‘natural play’ in school grounds.