Green projects involving everything from hospital patients growing their own food to creating homes for frogs are to benefit from a major funding package from Scotland’s nature agency.
A total of 11 initiatives aimed at improving health and encouraging connection with the environment will share a pot of £1 million from the Green Infrastructure Community Engagement Fund, which is administered by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
Recipients include the Cyrenians homelessness charity, which has been awarded £48,000 for a scheme offering patients at Edinburgh’s main mental hospital the chance to grow and cook their own food.
Two other projects in the capital have also won awards.
The Broomhouse Centre will receive £33,000 to establish a community market, providing volunteering, training and work experience opportunities for retired and unemployed people.
And £34,000 is going to Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to help communities along the capital’s shoreline to benefit from coastal green spaces.
Conservation charity Froglife has secured £23,500 for a volunteer programme to create and restore pond habitats at three sites in Paisley.
Newbattle Abbey College will get £39,000 to develop woodlands in its grounds for education and community engagement.
Three Glasgow projects received grants. They are the Central Scotland Green Network Trust, which won £33,000 to help the North Cardonald community to develop rain gardens in the area.
Urban Roots, a multi-faceted scheme based in the Toryburn area that includes activities for children and young people, training schemes, has scooped £48,000.
Hidden Gardens bagged £24,000 for a programme of activities designed to help people understand nature, improving health well-being.
The Conservation Volunteers won £24,000 to encourage people at risk of developing mental health problems to use and look after local green spaces in Cumbernauld to help combat loneliness.
The group secured £35,000 to work on rewilding local green spaces in Greenock, Clydebank and Yoker.
The RSPB’s won £41,000 for community work as part of Garnock Connections Landscape Initiative.
Lucy Holroyd, gardens manager for Cyrenians, said: “We are incredibly proud of the work we do here, and the amazing volunteers and patients we meet every day.
“This funding will allow us to continue building meaningful relationships through outdoor activities, improving well-being and acting as an additional step in people’s recovery.”
SNH chair Mike Cantlay added: “We know that living in great places brings huge benefits for physical and mental health. But in some areas, there is little or no opportunity to even access the fundamentals of nature.
“We want our Green Infrastructure Fund to help create beautiful places to live – as well as growing more prosperous communities.”