New funds support nature restoration in parks across Scotland

greenspace scotland’s £1million pound fundraising target is within reach after the Scottish Government pledged their support for their Parks4Life programme.

Today [Monday 20 March] Lorna Slater MSP, Biodiversity Minister announced new funding for projects in Scotland’s parks which will benefit people and nature.

From parks for pollinators in Aberdeen, to nature networks in Edinburgh, East Lothian and Falkirk, and tree-lined gateways for Glasgow’s Country Parks, these projects will get our parks buzzing, creating homes for wildlife and connecting more people with nature close to home.

Ms Slater announced the parks funding boost during a visit to Leith Links in Edinburgh where plans are underway to connect Leith’s greenspaces as a nature-rich network of neighbourhood parks, informed by ecological surveys, community engagement events and ambitious plans for Scotland’s first city-wide Nature Network. Ms Slater planted the first tree at the site of the new nature pocket park to create a ‘Wilding Wee Space’ as a learning resource for local schools and community groups.

Minister for Biodiversity Lorna Slater said:

“Our recently published biodiversity strategy sets out a nature positive vision for Scotland – one where nature is regenerating and underpinning a healthy and thriving economy and society. At the heart of this strategy is collaboration. No one can tackle the nature emergency alone, and we are committed to an inclusive approach that engages with communities.

“This new funding will help improve our valuable parks and help create greenspaces at the heart of our towns, cities, and rural areas, which are accessible to all. It’s particularly exciting to be able to provide enough funding to bring the Parks4Life Endowment Fund close to its first funding raising target of £1 million. This innovative initiative is Scotland’s first national fund for parks and greenspaces, providing an enduring legacy for these important public assets.”

The £856,000 parks investment is being managed by environmental charity, greenspace scotland. The new funds will support the development of nature restoration action plans in local parks from Aberdeen to the Scottish Borders, together with tree planting and woodland creation in regional and country parks, as well as making a significant contribution to Parks4Life – Scotland’s first endowment fund for parks.

Speaking about the Parks4Life Fund, Julie Procter, greenspace scotland Chief Executive said:

“Parks and greenspaces are amazing places at the heart of our communities. They give us breathing spaces where we can take time out from the stresses of our everyday lives, places where we can relax and spend time with friends and family, and spaces where nature can flourish in the heart of our towns and cities. The pandemic, climate emergency, ecological crisis and the cost-of-living challenges have shown us that we need our parks more than ever.

At greenspace scotland, we want to ensure our precious parks continue to be cherished and nurtured so that we hand them on in good heart for our children and grandchildren to enjoy. That’s why we’re developing Parks4Life as Scotland’s first national endowment fund for parks and greenspaces. With funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, donations from individuals, and now support from the Scottish Government, we’re very close to achieving our first fundraising target of £1million for Parks4Life with the ambition that we’ll continue to grow this to develop a multi-million fund to support our treasured parks, now and for generations to come.”

The National Lottery Heritage Fund Director for Scotland Caroline Clark said:

“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we are delighted to support the development of the Parks4Life fund. This month the Heritage Fund launched a new 10 year funding strategy which has four investment principles: saving heritage; protecting the environment; inclusion, access and participation; and organisational stability. Parks4Life reflects those ambitions and offers a model to support Scotland’s parks and keep them at the heart of community life now and for future generations.”

Councillor Val Walker, Culture and Communities Convener at City of Edinburgh Council said:

“This funding is a fantastic opportunity for the Edinburgh Nature Network. We’ve worked hard over the past few years to develop the Nature Network and this funding boost will go some way in helping progress our plans across the city. Our team will be able to develop designs for greenspaces in Leith and create new woodland in the Pentland Hills.

“The Edinburgh Nature Network is about making space for nature and biodiversity but also connecting people to the nature, improving their neighbourhoods and benefitting everyone’s health and wellbeing.”


1. Background:

The £856,000 investment is the Scottish allocation of the Levelling Up Parks Fund provided to the Scottish Government by the UK Government. greenspace scotland is managing the funds on behalf of the Scottish Government. The projects were selected following an open call in January 2023 to all Scottish Councils inviting expressions of interest.

2. Projects supported:

£450,000 for the Parks4Life Endowment Fund

Parks4 Life Endowment is Scotland’s first national fund for parks and greenspaces. Developed by greenspace scotland, with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Scottish Government and individual donations, Parks4Life is now close to its first fundraising target of £1 million.

The ambition is to create a multi-million-pound sustainable endowment fund which will help to keep Scotland’s treasured parks in good heart for future generations to enjoy. The funds will be invested to provide an endowment which will provide a steady source of funds for our parks. The endowment will be used by communities to support parks improvements, activities and projects; making sure our parks are kept healthy and happy for the future.

Parks4Life is a simple way for everyone who uses and loves Scotland’s parks to make a donation, large or small. Find out more and donate at

You can also donate by text: you can opt to give any amount up to £20 by texting PARK to 70450 followed by the amount you want to donate e.g. to donate £20 text PARK20 to 70450.

£237,990 to support action plans and ‘quick wins’ for nature restoration in parks

  • Aberdeen - £37,000 to create Flagship Parks for Pollinators by naturalising grassland management at Duthie Park and Seaton Park

  • Falkirk - £41,000 for Spaces for Nature Action Plan to develop detailed nature restoration management plans for parks, map nature networks and create wildflower meadows at priority site

  • East Lothian - £23,865 for Improving Nature Networks for East Lothian’s communities by mapping, surveying and developing parks across the area for nature restoration, including rewilding and wildflower planting at pilot sites

  • Edinburgh - £41,000 for Linking Leith’s Parks – connecting greenspaces in a neighbourhood nature network and creating a Wee Wilding Space as a learning resource for local schools

  • Fife - £20,000 for Back to Buzzing at Balbirnie Park, Glenrothes supporting specialist survey work to develop an overarching biodiversity management plan

  • North Lanarkshire - £35,000 for Mega Flora – a joined up approach to naturalising and enhancing grassland management within and beyond Strathclyde and Palacerigg Country Parks

  • Scottish Borders - £40,125 for nature restoration in Duns Park to design and utilise nature based solutions to address flooding and create new wetland and woodland habitats

£138,010 to support tree planting in Regional and Country Parks

  • East Dunbartonshire – £24,010 for tree planting, hedges and heritage orchard at Mugdock Country Park

  • Edinburgh – £40,000 for tree planting and woodland protection at Bonaly Country Park in the Pentlands Regional Park

  • Fife – £34,000 for tree planting and upland woodland creation in the Lomond Hills Regional Park

  • Glasgow – £40,000 to create tree lined gateways and connections between Dams to Darnley, Cathkin Braes and Pollok Country Parks

Photo credit greenspace scotland and Greg MacVean Photography