After moving online during Covid, the Park Managers Forum was back in-person for a one off on Midsummer’s Day 2023. The theme was nature restoration in urban greenspace. The partnership event with Falkirk Council, and funding support from NatureScot and Future Parks Accelerator, brought colleagues together for a day of site visits, small group discussions about real world issues, and networking.

27 colleagues from 13 Councils representing a range of greenspace and planning specialisms, together with colleagues from NatureScot and greenspace scotland, were guided through a series of sites and issues by Anna Perks (Biodiversity Officer), Mike Ewart (Parks Team Leader), Richard Broadley (Planning & Greenspace Manager), and other Falkirk Council staff.

Visits included sustainable grass management on road frontages and parks, wet meadow creation in Camelon Park,  and nature restoration on derelict land alongside uses for active transport and recreation at Policy Bing in high Falkirk. The group were also challenged to come up with ideas for further naturalisation of a disused golf course in Callendar Park.

Small group discussions saw colleagues having conversations about issues of all kinds facing them on nature restoration in park settings, naturalising amenity grass, and concerning Nature Networks. Abi Gardner of NatureScot provided an update on the latest thinking on further consultation and roll-out of frameworks for 30 by 30 (space for nature) and Nature Networks.

Even in a generally hot June a little rain fell on our day, but overall, we were extremely lucky with the weather and The Falkirk Wheel provided a stimulating base and reminder not to forget the blue in ‘Green and Blue Infrastructure’. Our thanks again to everyone involved.

Park Managers Forum with site visits, Falkirk - Nature restoration in urban greenspace: Nature recovery in parks | Naturalising urban grassland management | Nature Networks

Site visits as led by Anna Perks, Biodiversity Officer Falkirk Council, with colleagues

All hyperlinks are to maps in the publicly available Falkirk Council Geographical Information System through its 20 Minute Neighbourhoods Tool.


A look at sustainable grass management (road frontages and parks) and [wet] meadow creation in parks. Included a wee walk along the canal towpath between the two sites.

* Relaxed mowing / naturalisation of road grass verges at Glenfuir Road, Summerford / Camelon

* Camelon Park (Wet meadow area pinned, relaxed mowing regime also present in areas)

Policy Bing: [named as Dairy Bing in the linked data set]

* Nature restoration in an urban open space, previously industrial / derelict land, alongside various other enhancements – for access, recreation, and so on. 

Callendar Park (old golf course area only)

* Nature enhancements are already happening and colleagues were invited to share ideas on future use/enhancement of the old golf course area, for nature recovery / nature networks and so on.

[marker is to the specific area within the golf course visited]

Notes from workshop discussions 
Topics identified for discussion by the groups on Nature Restoration in Parks and Naturalising Amenity Grasslandusing the Lean Coffee approach (topics and length of discussion of each topic are determined on the day by participants). 

Some notes from the Lean Coffee discussion on Naturalising amenity grassland. 

Structured conversation on Nature Networks

This was run using a technique also known as 'fishbowl'. There is an explanation of the technique here and like Lean Coffee, other explanations are widely available.