Managing Scotland's parks and greenspaces during covid-19  includes examples of temporary interventions for adapting and managing greenspaces including:

Physical distancing and visitor management – grass cutting and marking

Queen Square in Bristol has hearts positioned two metres apart to encourage physical distancing. This signalled the launch of #BristolTogether, a new initiative to safely re-open the city, with 224 hearts painted in Queen Square, College Green and Castle Park. In total there are 374 hearts.

Birmingham City Council has mowed 2m wide grass strips and Newcastle City Council has marked circles on the grass to encourage groups to maintain a safe distance.

Physical distancing and vehicle management

North Lanarkshire Council has started to implement measures in Strathclyde Country Park, Motherwell through the Spaces for People fund to improve access for walking, wheeling and cycling including signage, closing internal roads to vehicles and installing passing places on paths.

Physical distancing and vegetation clearance

West Lothian Council has received Spaces for People funding to make it safer for active travel on essential trips. Package 7 is for “Strategic clearance works to widen footpaths and cycle tracks” – this includes vegetation clearance and focuses on the NCN75 through West Lothian and the Nell Burn Path in Livingston.

Signage and information for visitor management

Be Safe, Be Smart and Be Kind - Sustrans, Transport Scotland, Public Health Scotland, the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland and various active travel organisations in Scotland have developed a summary of things to consider when walking, cycling and wheeling during Covid-19.

The City of Edinburgh developed a Paths for Everyone Code and promoted this widely through signage and social media 

Some of the National Parks have used some eye-catching and engaging ways to remind people what 2 metres looks like – the Cairngorms are using a highland cow and the Yorkshire Dales are using one landrover, two Swaledale sheep, three spaniels or nine red squirrels.

Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park are providing regular updates about what facilities are open and encouraging people to take some time to Think, Check & Plan before visiting. Think: Is now the right time to visit? Check: What is open where? Plan: What do I need to do before I go & what do I need to take? They are using the hashtag #RespectYourPark on social media.

Relaxing grassland management for a biodiversity bonus

Renfrewshire Council has recognised the unique circumstances of the pandemic have provided the Council with an opportunity to undertake a biodiversity and wildflower assessment of the uncut grass areas. This assessment will identify areas which are suitable for being maintained as biodiversity/wildflower areas, as well as opportunities for additional wildflower seeding, alongside a safety assessment. Input from local communities will be a key part of this assessment.

For design ideas and inspiration take a look at:

RE-imaging a NEW Outdoors from the Landscape Institute Scotland

If you have any examples of how you are managing parks and greenspace, please email

View more examples and covid-19 news