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Funding awarded to 17 projects across the central belt has kick-started the process that will deliver the single, biggest greenspace development in Europe.
The projects will share £362,731 of funding from the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) Development Fund, which was announced by Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham in June.
Administered by Forestry Commission Scotland, the funding will help a range of organisations to draw up plans for the ‘greening’ of the central belt.
The projects will help the CSGN to achieve its aim of increasing woodland cover by 50 per cent, improving the landscape and regenerating derelict and vacant land, while also creating more outdoor recreation opportunities for local residents and visitors.
Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham said:
“The response to the CSGNs ambition has been fantastic and clearly the vision of transforming the area’s natural, working and recreational environment has struck a chord.
“The range of projects is equally ambitious and each demonstrates the willingness of all of these agencies to roll up their sleeves and commit to the challenge of delivering a greener, stronger, healthier central belt.
“It is a very encouraging start and I look forward to seeing the changes on the ground that these projects will lead to over the next few years.”
The CSGN will change the face of Central Scotland, by restoring, transforming and greening the landscape of an area stretching from Ayrshire and Inverclyde in the west, to Fife and the Lothians in the east.
Keith Geddes, Chair of the CSGN Partnership Board said;
“These awards will act as catalysts to begin work on many projects which will be of immense value to local communities. They range from initiatives which will encourage local people to live active lifestyles through to projects that will make a major contribution to biodiversity and a greener central Scotland.”
Major projects to have won funding include:
• Lothian and Fife Green Network Partnership - £32,288 to develop a Pentland Hills Woodland Strategy for enhancing the landscape and providing social and recreational benefits for local people and visitors.
• Glasgow City Council - £50,000 to develop a Riverside Management Plan for the section of the River Clyde running south from Glasgow Green at Polmadie Bridge, to the Cunningar Loop.
• RSPB Scotland - £15,000 to develop a delivery plan for landscape scale habitat restoration and management along the Inner Forth.
Other bodies to have won funding include the East Dunbartonshire, South Ayrshire and Clackmannanshire Councils and Central Scotland Forest Trust.
The CSGN stretches from Ayrshire, Inverclyde and Dunbartonshire in the west through to Fife and East Lothian in the east. Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage are joint lead partners for the development of the Central Scotland Green Network.
For fuller details of the CSGN Development Fund, log on to www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-85bgtl
Notes to Editors.
1) The CSGN stretches from Ayrshire, Inverclyde and Dunbartonshire in the west through to Fife and East Lothian in the east. Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage are joint lead partners for the development of the Central Scotland Green Network.
The Scottish Government’s second National Planning Framework, June 2009 identifies the CGSN as a national priority, which will deliver:
“...a step change in environmental quality, woodland cover and recreational opportunities...[and] make Central Scotland a more attractive place to live in, do business and visit; help to absorb CO²; enhance biodiversity; and promote active travel and healthier life styles”.
2) Forestry Commission Scotland serves as the Scottish Government’s forestry directorate www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland.
3) Scottish Natural Heritage is the Government’s advisor on all aspects of nature and landscape across Scotland. Our role is to help everyone understand, value and enjoy Scotland’s nature now and in the future. For further information on SNH, please visit our website at www.snh.gov.uk