What is a Green Network?


Green networks are connected areas of green infrastructure and open space that together form an integrated multi-functional network.

Green infrastructure includes the green and blue (water environment) features of the natural and built environments.

Green features include parks, woodland, trees, play spaces, gardens, community growing areas, hedges and verges.

Blue features include rivers, lochs, wetlands, ponds, canals, coastal and marine areas including beaches.

The linking together of these natural, semi-natural and man-made open spaces is essential to create an interconnected network that provides opportunities for physical activity, increased access within settlements and to the surrounding countryside while enhancing biodiversity and the quality of the environment.


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£355,000 funding boost for central Scotland green projects

Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT) today (2 May 2018) announced that 14 environmental projects across Central Scotland have benefitted from a green funding boost totalling over £355,000.

The Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) Development Fund supports trees, woodlands and green infrastructure, encourages community growing and promotes active travel to help transform the quality of life for people living and working in the area.

A total of 14 projects have been awarded covering East Ayrshire, Glasgow, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling and West Dunbartonshire in the west and Edinburgh, Midlothian and West Lothian in the east.

The CSGN is Europe’s largest greenspace initiative which seeks to transform Central Scotland into a place where the environment adds value to the economy and where people’s lives are enriched by its quality and projects stretching across East Ayrshire, Inverclyde, Edinburgh and Glasgow are now benefitting.

Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said: “Since 2010 this investment has provided more than £7m and helped more than 210 projects improve green spaces in their local areas. These new projects will continue to build Europe’s largest greenspace project and benefit communities across central Scotland.

“The diverse range of projects to receive funding highlights the many different ways improving green infrastructure can benefit communities and our environment. From community growing, woodland planting and improving cycle and walking routes, each of these community projects is playing a role in our ambitions to create a cleaner and greener Scotland.”

Keith Geddes, Chair of CSGNT, added: “The CSGN Development Fund was created to make a real difference to initiatives across Central Scotland and support the invaluable work they carry out.

“We are proud to be awarding over £355,000 in 2018 to a host of exciting projects which range from local community garden initiatives to transforming derelict space into woodland.

They all share one thing in common and that is that they support the environment from trees, woodlands and green infrastructure through to encouraging community growing and promoting active travel to help transform the quality of life for people living and working in the area.”

The CSGN Development Fund is administered by CSGNT and supported by Scottish Government, Transport Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage.

List of Ayrshire projects below that were awarded funding.


  • Eadha Enterprises – awarded £7,000. The initiative has been awarded £7,000 to aid the Coalfields to Wildwood project in East Ayrshire which will work with local groups, organisations and schools to create pioneer woodlands on reinstated opencast sites.


  • North Ayrshire Council – awarded £80,000 for a project which will help regenerate Lochshore, a major brownfield site in Kilbirnie.


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Garnock Connections secures Heritage Lottery Fund award

The Garnock Connections Landscape Partnership which brings together communities and projects across North Ayrshire and Renfrewshire has been awarded £1.35m by the Heritage Lottery Fund.



Garnock Connections is a suite of 25 projects that will restore a network of wildlife habitats and historic sites across the landscape, as well as encourage local people to become involved through public engagement opportunities.

The initiative will be coordinated by the Garnock Connections Landscape Partnership, which is made up of RSPB Scotland (lead partner), North Ayrshire Council, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, with Historic Environment Scotland (HES) acting as an advisory body.
Read more here www.garnockconnections.org.uk/news


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East Ayrshire’s restored peat bogs celebrated

The results of restoration work carried out at Low Moss in 2017 as part of the CEI’s Nature Network and EcoCoLIFE projects are now being enjoyed by locals and visitors.

An event took place to help raise awareness of the importance of healthy peatlands. The guided walk was organised by the East Ayrshire Coalfield Environment Initiative (CEI) to celebrate the United Nations World Water Day and was opened by East Ayrshire’s Depute Provost Claire Leitch.

Low Moss is a small raised bog situated next to the former Duncanziemere opencast coal mine. It is one of five sites the CEI has been working on across East Ayrshire and so far a total of 479 hectares of peat bog has been restored.


CEI Project Officer Gemma Jennings said “The theme of this year’s World Water Day is ‘Nature for Water’ – looking at how protecting nature can help us solve water challenges. The CEI has been ‘re-wetting’ peat bogs damaged by historic land management practices such as drainage and burning so we decided to mark World Water Day with a trip to one of our recent restoration sites – Low Moss.

“Restoration brings about many benefits – peatlands are capable of storing large volumes of water so help prevent flooding and are great for filtration, improving the quality of water entering our rivers. Healthy peatlands also store carbon, which would otherwise be released as carbon dioxide, and therefore play a major role in combating climate change. A damaged peat bog on the other hand will release carbon, thus contributing to climate change.

“In terms of wildlife, our peatlands are home to an array of unique species from the carnivorous sundew plant to adders and short-eared owls. We want to raise the profile of these wonderful, wild places and encourage people to appreciate peatlands and why it’s so important to look after them. World Water Day provided an opportunity to recognise the value of East Ayrshire’s peatlands and was great to see so many people turn out on the day.”

The Depute Provost Claire Leitch said “We’re all aware that many human activities are a threat to our environment, and how everything we do can have an impact on our natural environment in a way which affects us all. Today’s walk was truly inspirational – an example of human activity contributing to the restoration of healthy ecosystems which can only benefit us and future generations.



“To see all these volunteers, experts and organisations working together to actually reverse damage and provide a safe haven for so many species and a wonderful area for the community to enjoy is something of which we should all be very proud. We know that we owe it to our young people to look after the planet and after having met many young people who are passionate about both the environment and areas we live, I know it’ll be in good hands.”

The CEI’s work is supported by Scottish Natural Heritage, East Ayrshire Council, and with the contribution of the LIFE+ financial instrument of the European Community. To find out more about the CEI’s projects, events or volunteering opportunities please see www.ea-cei.org.uk or contact CEI Project Officer Gemma Jennings: gemma.jennings@ea-cei.org.uk.


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CSGN Development Fund 2018/19 is now open for applications

Projects across the central belt can bring environmental and health benefits to their areas by bidding for a share of a £400,000 fund.The 2018-19 round of the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) Development Fund will offer investment to projects promoting active travel, woodland planting, community growing and restoring land. Since 2010 £6.3 million has been invested in more than 180 projects.

 The CSGN Development Fund is managed by the Central Scotland Green Network Trust, with funding provided by Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government.

The closing date for CSGN Development Fund applications is 5pm, Monday 5 February 2018.

Download the Application Form and Guidance here:

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Crowdfund Rural Ayrshire

Ayrshire LEADER’s Local Action Group (LAG) is embracing a pioneering new concept in fundraising called #Crowdfund Rural Ayrshire.

The LAG has partnered with Crowdfunder to provide a dedicated on-line platform for local groups, organisations and businesses based in rural Ayrshire to help them raise money, awareness and support using the power of the crowd.

In addition, the LAG may also make financial pledges to projects of up to a maximum of £5,000, where they meet the Programme criteria and have raised half of their on-line crowdfunding target. A total of £250,000 is available for this purpose.

If you are part of a rural community or have a businesses that wants to deliver projects that will foster business and enterprise, connect people and places, promote tourism, culture and local heritage or open up opportunities to access the natural environment, this initiative could be right up your street!

A similar scheme by Plymouth City Council placed £90,000 of funding into crowdfunded projects. In total these have raised more than £500,000 across the city via the partnership.

Chris Savage, Chair of the Ayrshire Local Action Group said: “It’s fantastic to be working with the committed team at Crowdfunder and to be at the forefront of ground-breaking rural development in the UK”.

Claire Monaghan, Head of Communities at South Ayrshire Council said: “As Accountable Body for the LEADER Programme, the Council is delighted to be working with the Ayrshire Local Action Group as it innovates in rural Ayrshire. We are excited about our communities sharing the social and economic benefits of #Crowdfund Rural Ayrshire as this initiative takes off.”

For more information about #Crowdfund Rural Ayrshire and how to get involved contact the LEADER team on 01292 616655 or visit http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ayrshire-leader


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