Attitudes to greenspace in Scotland - a review of key trends between 2004 - 2013

In August 2014, Scottish Natural Heritage published 'Attitudes to greenspace in Scotland - a review of key trends between 2004 - 2013'.

The report focuses on the 2013 findings of Scotland’s People and Nature Survey (SPANS), supported by results from other surveys. It presents comprehensive data on attitudes towards greenspace of those people living in Scotland’s urban areas, including those resident within the CSGN area.

Key results from the study:

  • Local parks are the most frequented type of greenspace (41%) with woodland second (23%)
  • Those who regularly visit their local greenspace are more likely to rate their health as good.
  • However, less than half of people visit their local greenspace or the wider outdoors at least once a week and a third of people do not do any physical activity in an outdoor environment.
  • Across Scotland there is a widening gap between the expectations of what greenspaces can be and people’s perceptions of what is actually provided in local communities.
  • Within the CSGN area, a third of people think that the quality of their local greenspace has declined over the last five years, this is even higher for those resident in the most disadvantaged areas.
  • People who live in the most deprived areas of Scotland are the most dissatisfied with their local greenspace.
  • Poor maintenance is the most disliked aspect of local greenspace and this is particularly the case within CSGN area.

The report makes recommendations on how to best develop policy and support targeted action to improve the quality of Scotland’s urban greenspaces, and thereby contribute more to people’s quality of life. 

Keith Geddes, Chair of the Central Scotland Green Network commented, "This report demonstrates the need to continue a coherent approach to improving and enriching our vital greenspaces.

Our greenspaces are well used with 2.4 million of adults in urban areas across Scotland having visited in the past year. However, the survey also tells us that people living in our most deprived areas are likely to be the most dissatisfied with their local greenspace.

These areas of deprivation are highlighted as a priority for the CSGN and we are working with our partners to create better and more accessible natural environments. This encourages people to visit their local greenspace more regularly and become more physically active, both of which contribute towards improving people’s health and well-being across central Scotland."

For more information and a summary of findings click here.