New report reveals true extent of Scottish green space for the first time

There is nearly 85,000ha -- or 120,000 football pitches worth -- of urban green space in Scotland, according to a new report.

The figures published by Greenspace Scotland reveal for the first time the extent of urban green space in the country.

The first State of Scotland’s Greenspace Report revealed there is an average of 23sq m of green space per person, or the equivalent of nine double beds worth each.

Breaking it down by sector the report found private gardens account for 30% of all green space with natural spaces accounting for 28%.

Amenity areas around buildings add 15% and sports account for 13%.

Public parks and gardens represent 9% of green space while play spaces, allotments and burial grounds cover relatively small areas.

The report also mapped green space into districts showing the amount publicly accessible per 1,000 people across 20 local authorities.

Greenspace Scotland chief executive Julie Procter said: "There has been much debate about whether we are losing Scotland’s green space. This report can’t answer that question but does for the first time provide a baseline – or a snapshot – of how much green space we have in Scotland which we can compare with in future years."

The process of assessing the quality of Scottish green space is just starting with 20 local authorities now working on quality audits. The green space maps produced in the report will be used to asses accessibility.

This data will also be used in conjunction with information on health, deprivation and derelict land to provide a tool to prioritise investment in green space improvements, develop strategies and to inform the development of the Central Scotland Green Network.

Minister for environment and rural affairs Roseanna Cunningham MSP said: "This is an exciting piece of work that will act as a benchmark, showing for the first time the extent and type of urban green space in Scotland. Millions of Scots live in towns and cities but we can all enjoy our natural environment and feel the benefits of green spaces from our own back gardens to local parks. I am confident this report will be of great value in helping us to better understand how we can work to ensure good quality greenspace across Scotland."

 

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