The Thriving Green Spaces Project will shape an ambitious new vision for Edinburgh’s natural environment and produce a 30-year strategy and action plan to deliver that vision. 

Project partners

The City of Edinburgh Council’s Parks, Greenspace and Cemeteries service is leading on the project to develop a new vision for the Capital’s greenspaces which will ensure their ongoing enhancement, protection and care.

Project partners are: greenspace scotland, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust, University of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Green Spaces Forum (the umbrella group for Edinburgh’s friends of parks groups).They along with the National Trust for Scotland sit on the Project Advisory Board

Future Parks Accelerator grant

The Thriving Green Spaces Project is being made possible by a £899,500 Future Parks Accelerator (FPA) grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Natural Trust, who have joined together to provide funding to eight local authorities to enable them to develop bold and innovative financial and management solutions for their green spaces against a backdrop of financial uncertainty.

Project summary

The project runs for two years commencing in June 2019 with the funding being used to recruit a project team and buy in professional expertise where required to carry out the necessary research and develop proposals for a new Thriving Green Spaces Vision and Strategy for Edinburgh. It is also funding a widespread and comprehensive public communications and engagement programme, along with opportunities for volunteering.

Work is ongoing with funders and seven FPA funded UK local authorities, partners, staff, citizens and stakeholders to explore options, carry out research, studies and pilots, and gather robust baseline data about our greenspaces to inform the production of a Thriving Green Spaces Strategy which will determine what our greenspaces should look like in 2050, what benefits they need to deliver and how people want to use them. It will determine what we need to do to ensure we have thriving greenspaces in the next 10, 20 and 30 years and how these can help to grow thriving communities.

Interactive surveys

The next stage for the project team is to ask residents and visitors how they use our parks and greenspaces and, importantly, what their aspirations are for them.

The website has three short, interactive surveys for anyone who lives or works in Edinburgh

These surveys have been developed with the help of a number of masters students from the Landscape and Wellbeing programme at the University of Edinburgh, one of the partners working with the Council on this project.

City of Edinburgh Council Parks Leader and project champion Amy McNeese Mechan said:

“Edinburgh is already a wonderfully green city – the UK’s greenest, in fact – and we want to ensure it remains that way for generations to come. Thanks to this much-sought-after funding we’ve been able to get to work on our approach to this challenge"

John Kerr of Edinburgh Green Spaces Forum said:

“There is an army of volunteers across the city who work alongside the Council to support our parks, greenspaces and cemeteries. They are passionate about our greenspaces, and now, as more people begin to realise how important these green spaces are to the health and wellbeing of all our residents and visitors, they look forward to this project creating a sustainable long term environment for managing and supporting our green spaces into the future.”