You don't need big bucks to bring big benefits As the days grow longer and we want to spend more time outside, we are celebrating the great greenspace ideas and actions that have been inspired by the Bags of Help funding over the past four years. Here we highlight some of the greenspace groups who have made the most of this opportunity to improve their local environment in many ways and we encourage others to follow suit. Be inspired by these examples of how much an impact an award of £2,000 or less can make to benefit the environment and the community. Outdoor improvements in and out of town Residents, working with REAP in Keith, used £1,000 to make communal areas nicer to look at, to sit in and to walk in, renewing the benches and creating a mural. Ann Davidson REAP, Keith: "We are so proud to have been involved in the community events, volunteer sessions and creating the transformed community areas.” Bags of Help contributed £2,000 to help Cullen Past and Present Volunteers Castle Hill Project to restore the scheduled monument to its former glory with Historic Environment Scotland and their archaeologists. Stan Slater, Cullen Past and Present Volunteers Group: "Thirty volunteers spent 2,800 hours removing 28 trailers of gorse and creating 500 metres of paths… and can be accessed by those with wheelchairs and pushchairs.” Biodiversity Beasties, Bugs and Bairns was awarded £2,000 to give schools and community groups free access to expert field staff who deliver fun and fascinating activities - minibeast hunts, pond dipping, senses trails, anything nature-based that fits in with the school’s objectives. Morag Lonergan, Education Officer, Beasties, Bugs and Bairns: “Nature is all around us, in every community... you don’t have to go far to find fascinating creatures or to explore incredible environments, it’s all there, where you live!” Nadair Thiriodh funding of £2,000 contributed to bringing local people, experienced naturalists and nature together to protect Scotland's rarest bumblebee, the Great Yellow Bumblebee, Bombus distinguendus, with a ‘mini machair’ network. Janet Bowler, Project Manager: “By providing training, equipment and resources, we can really inspire the people of Tiree to find, identify and care about this important species.” Outdoor Shelters for Wildlife and people Murrayfield Allotment Association used £2,000 from Tesco Bags of Help to purchase and install a wildlife observation cabin, which is accessible to all allotment users, including the local primary school. Kenny Wright, Murrayfield Allotment Association: “Our wildlife observation cabin is now erected overlooking a beautiful wildflower area, which was once a dumping area.” With Scottish weather what it is, Kintyre Angling Group upgraded their old boatshed with £1,000 for new windows and a door to provide adequate shelter so that, when the weather takes a turn, anglers have a place to sit and have a spot of lunch away from the elements. Alastair Forbes, Committee Member: “…the difference is unbelievable. So much so we intend to do further renovations to the shed, weather and money permitting.” Enhancing Growing Viewpark Gardens Allotments have created a sociable village green area at their community run allotment site near Uddingston with their £2,000 Tesco Bags of Help funding. Susannah Mallin, Secretary: "We take so much pride in the site, having developed it from derelict land to a working allotment and community space for everyone to enjoy.” Motivated? This year, every three months 225 projects will share £1/4 million across Scotland and, since the Bags of Help programme began in 2016, it has supported over 3,500 projects awarding more than £10 million in community grants in Scotland. The Community Enabler team at greenspace scotland can help groups apply. Find out more Bags of Help is funded from bag sales and Tesco periodically review the amount of money they provide through the scheme so that it matches the amount of money that is being raised. The change in grant size and voting period reflects reductions in plastic use by customers and their 4Rs programme to Remove, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle plastic materials. For instance, in the last year Tesco have stopped offering single use plastic carrier bags with online deliveries – removing the use of 250 million carrier bags every year. At the same time, customers in stores are buying fewer and reusing their Bags for Life more. Not only is this a chance to bag up to £2,000, it is also an opportunity to promote homegrown greenspace group activities in local Tesco stores. Successful applicants will be able to publicise their good work for three months in the customer voting booths in spaces busy with shoppers from their communities.