Over the winter, Young Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year, Andrew Bulloch and his father Grant have been working with us to capture the spirit and essential essence of some of our treasured parks and greenspaces.

Reflecting on the commission, Andrew and Grant said:

We are so used to going to the local park, either to keep active, walk the dog or get young children out of the house. But going to the urban parks with a camera in hand, solely to record what you see, is a totally different experience. It forces you to look around you more creatively and it opens up a whole new insight into how others use our parks.

So, while this project to photograph the urban parks has resulted in typical images of nature and wildlife, the narrative associated with the images shows how different our parks are, and how people interact with them in so many different ways.

The images could be categorised into location, date or subject matter, but we’ve chosen to try and think about them differently.

Part 1: Looking inwards

Some of the parks are surrounded and enclosed by trees or housing. Figgate Park is one such place, where there are many routes through it, but few use it as a shortcut. The paths are circular, around the pond and the burn and so people use it for fitness, to walk their dogs and to watch the abundant wildlife. Apart from a glimpse of Arthur’s Seat in the distance, there are no outward views and the focus of activity is in the park itself, whether that is water or wildlife.

black and white picture of swans on a lake

We must have run past this tree so many times as it is situated within a few metres of the Parkrun finish line, but in all those years, we have never actually noticed it. The beautiful white bark stands out strikingly against the dark background, even in dull weather.

Himalayan birch

The weather changes our perspective of things tremendously. A light scattering of snow transforms this view so that the dark trees stand out boldly and turns this into an unusual and striking composition. The falling snow combined with a low shutter speed adds to the atmosphere.

snow covered tree

A cold start to the day brought the prospect of trees dripping in hoar frost and sent us running down to the park to catch it before the sun melted everything. However, it clearly wasn’t damp enough as only the board walk and paths were affected, but it did leave us this interesting composition.

hoar on boardwalk

Sunrise at the skatepark: Treverlen Park is a brand new park created on the site of the old St. John’s Primary School in Edinburgh. Overlooked by houses and the new primary school it has quickly become a popular safe place for young families. At dawn we had it to ourselves.

deserted skatepark at dawn

Watch this space for the next instalments of the story behind the pictures: looking outwards, intimate landscapes and wildlife

Read more about Andrew and Grant Bulloch

Please note all images are copyright greenspace scotland / Andrew and Grant Bulloch