Hazlehead is one of Aberdeen’s flagship parks, located on the western outskirts of the city. The park covers over 180 hectares including large areas of woodland, football pitches, golf courses, a pitch and putt course and an events field. There are also memorial rose gardens, azalea and rhododendron borders, heather beds, children's play area, pets’ corner and a café.

In early 2013, Hazlehead was the first location for greenspace scotland’s Climate Resilient Park programme. We worked with Aberdeen City Council and the newly formed Friends of Hazlehead to develop a new management plan for the park – one which met local priorities and contributed to both climate change mitigation and adaptation.

We used the Community Placemaking approach drawing together a wide range of local organisations, council officers and park users to develop a shared vision and action plan for the park – and the ‘Retrofitting urban parks to deliver climate change actions’ resource. 

Since 2013 a lot has happened in the park. The Pets Corner building has been completely refurbished; the design incorporates a sedum roof, solar pipes and the building is linked to the local Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system. Electricity is generated and the heat emitted by the generator is captured and used to heat properties instead of being released to atmosphere.

The drainage system has been overhauled to reduce flooding and run-off and there has been management changes for woodland and grassland areas. The park continues to have an active Friends group; working in partnership on specific projects and successfully raising considerable funds to improve a range of Park facilities.

Aberdeen City Council have used the learning from Hazlehead to inform greenspace management across the City. The next challenge for the Park Service, in the context of a changing climate, is to adapt the management of grass areas across the city.