Green community projects in Central Scotland have received an early Christmas present this year as they have been awarded over £60,000 funding from the CSGN Community Projects Fund to improve their local greenspace.
Supported by Forestry Commission Scotland, the CSGN Community Projects Fund provides one-off grants of up to £3,000 to support small-scale projects at a grass-roots level to enhance the quality of their environment.
The Fund aims to increase use of and foster community pride in local greenspaces and is directed at ventures which benefit children and young people under 16 years old, or which involve this age group in the project.
Some 26 environmental community projects throughout the CSGN area received a share of this year’s £60,244 Community Projects Fund.
Keith Geddes, Chair of the Central Scotland Green Network Partnership Board, said: “Now in its third year, our Community Projects Fund continues to go from strength to strength and we’re pleased to be able to continue our support for grass-roots projects across the region.
“There’s a fantastic range of successful projects this year, from nurseries looking to promote outdoor learning and natural play, to allotment groups trying to encourage children to take part in community growing activities to inspire healthy eating.
“These small-scale local initiatives are instrumental in achieving our goal of creating a high-quality green network across central Scotland to improve the quality of life for local communities.”
The full list of projects in Central Scotland which received funding from this year’s CSGN Community Projects Fund includes:
- Onthank Tenants and Residents Association, East Ayrshire has been awarded £1,500 to improve the entrances to Onthank and Mount Carmel Primary Schools and three further spaces in Onthank. The grant will be used to supply 16 large trees, timber planters and hanging baskets which the children will plant up.
- Newton Primary School Nursery Class, South Ayrshire has been awarded £1,514 to create a safe and natural environment where children attending the nursery can play and learn outdoors. The grant will be used to purchase timber planters, benches, storage and play features.
- Germiston Allotments, Glasgow has been awarded £1,600 to buy equipment and seeds to improve this newly created allotment site. The activities will involve children from the local primary school which also has a plot and the children and grandchildren of other plot holders.
- Methilhill Community Children's Initiative, Fife has been awarded £1,500 to transform a piece of waste ground into an outdoor learning garden for children and young people. A community survey in 2012 identified the need for clubs and activities and once created the garden will provide a location for schemes to encourage appreciation of nature and promote physical activity and well-being.
- Ferguslie Pre-five Centre Dragon's Allotments, Renfrewshire has been awarded £1,992 to further develop a piece of waste ground which the community has begun to transform into a growing space and outdoor learning area. Local children have already identified the possibility of growing and selling vegetables from the garden to encourage the use of seasonal, locally grown food. The grant will be used to purchase waterproofs and wellington boots.
- Fife Muslim Educational and Cultural Centre has been awarded £3,000 to develop a food growing project on a piece of vacant land with the produce used in the children’s club and an old people’s lunch club. The grant will be used to hire a driver and digger to prepare the site ready for planting.
- Doonvale Nursery, South Ayrshire has been awarded £1,570 to develop a Secret Garden on a former orchard and allotment next to the Nursery. Having surveyed the garden and worked out what they would like to do, the children will be have waterproof clothing and tools to help them develop a new growing space.
- Larbert and Stenhousemuir Environmental Response Group, Falkirk has been awarded £3,000 to support pupils from Larbert High School to enhance a piece of ‘orphan’ land in the heart of Stenhousemuir Shopping Centre, The grant will be used to purchase plants, seating and create onsite interpretation to encourage local people to explore nearby greenspaces and heritage.
- Eadha Enterprises, Renfrewshire has been awarded £1,501 to create an Aspen Grove, a place for outdoor learning, on a piece of vacant land in Lochwinnoch. Children from Lochwinnoch Primary School and local volunteers will help create the Grove. The grant will be used to purchase trees, plants and bulbs and materials for a planting event in early 2014.
- Linvale Primary Eco Group, West Dunbartonshire has been awarded £3,000 for its Diamonds Grassland project on part of the grounds of the Primary School in Clydebank. The grant will be used to install entrance features, a willow den and tunnel, a fire pit and to buy bird feeders, tools and waterproofs, so the children can help in the creation and maintenance of the garden.
- Friends of the Plantation, North Ayrshire has been awarded £2,995 to work with local school children, Duke of Edinburgh Award participants and the community to plant several large trees in Holm Plantation, which links Ardrossan and Saltcoats.
- Friends of Montgomery Street Park, Edinburgh has been awarded £1,500 to employ a graffiti artist to work with local primary school children to design and paint a mural on an unsightly electrical substation as part of a clean-up and activity day in the Park.
- Onthank Tenants and Residents Association, East Ayrshire has been awarded £3,000 to work with children from Onthank Primary and Mount Carmel Schools to create designs for two planting areas based on the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The grant will help with the purchase of plants, hanging baskets and tools.
- St Albert's Primary School, Glasgow has been awarded £3,000 to undertake further development of their growing space to support learning, create produce for cooking and to promote healthy eating. The grant will be used to purchase materials for three raised beds, a compost bay, an herb spiral wheel, a polytunnel, water butt and tools.
- Merkland Local Nature Reserve Management Group, East Dunbartonshire has been awarded £3,000 to install three carved log seats, one for each of the local primary schools, at key sites in the Reserve. Pupils will be involved in the design of each seat and will have opportunities for outdoor learning and play as part of the development process.
- Cairnhill Woods Group, East Dunbartonshire has been awarded £3,000 to create a wood sculpture trail through the woodland. Children from Westerton Primary School will help to design the sculptures and carved timber seats and will have opportunities for outdoor learning and play as part of the development process.
- Carron Dams Local Management Group and The Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falkirk have been awarded £1,980 to install two interpretation panels to tell the unique story of the Carron Dams Local Nature Reserve. Children and staff from the adjacent Larbert High School are already regularly users of the site and will help with the development of the design and content of the boards.
- Friends of Eglinton, North Ayrshire has been awarded £3,000 to increase the length of hedgerows and associated habitats within Eglington Country Park, to increase biodiversity and to create a learning opportunity for local schools both through practical delivery and through curriculum activity. The grant will support the purchase of plants and compost.
- CLEAR Buckhaven, Fife has been awarded £3,000 to plant 22 large trees and install bird, bat and bug boxes in a number of green spaces around Buckhaven. Local primary schools and a parent-and-child group are all keen to participate in the project. The grant will be used to buy trees, stakes and equipment.
- Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust, Edinburgh has been awarded £2,873 to transform a Millennium Woodland next to the Gate 55 community hub in Westerhailes into a Magical Woodland. The funding will support, predominantly volunteer delivered, woodland management, path improvements and planting of hedgerows and bulbs. A number of parent/toddler groups, children’s groups and the local school will all be involved in the project.
- Westquarter Wildlife Group, Falkirk has been awarded £1,551 to engage with 8 local teenagers in hands-on work to improve the amenity and wildlife value of the Westquarter Glen. The grant will fund a storage shed, hand tools and personal protective equipment.
- Gorgie City Farm, Edinburgh has been awarded £1,740 to create an African Key-hole Garden. The Garden will be constructed by the Farm’s Nature Detectives and will be centrally located to encourage learning and engagement in it by visiting schools and families. The grant will be used to buy tools, materials and site signage.
- Kirklandpark Primary School Parent Council, South Lanarkshire has been awarded £2,250 to create a market garden in the grounds of the school. The Strathaven in Bloom group will work with pupils throughout the project and volunteers from Strathaven Academy will also help out. The grant will go towards the purchase of a polytunnel, compost bins, water butts, tools and seeds.
- Galston Baby and Toddler Group, East Ayrshire has been awarded £2,975 to support Galston Wild Things, a project to create a wildflower garden from waste ground at the back of Barrmill Hall, complementing an earlier project. The grant will fund the construction of a path, storage and a water butt, topsoil, seeds and equipment for children and adults.
- Eastfield Primary School, North Lanarkshire has been awarded £1,503 to improve the green space within the school boundary in order to develop the children's awareness of nature and biodiversity by giving every class a growing space and by building a bog garden. The grant will be used to buy timber for raised beds, a cold frame, compost, a bird box with camera and bird feeders.
- St. Bernadette's School, Natural Play Group, Falkirk has been awarded £2,700 to build a bespoke shed as part of its Power of Play Project featuring planting along the roofline and a rain garden to catch run-off from the roof. Pupils have been involved in the design of the project and the school is keen to share with others its experiences of natural play.