Home to over half of the planet’s population, urban areas are responsible for a significant proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions.
What is green infrastructure and why is it important?
Green infrastructure is defined as a “planned network of natural and semi-natural areas with other environmental features designed and managed to deliver a wide range of ecosystem services”. This term incorporates a huge variety of different ecosystems from parks, playing fields and woodlands to community gardens, green roofs and street planters. These spaces facilitate physical activity, relaxation and can be a refuge from the noisy city. Green spaces help to foster biodiversity and provide safe routes for people walking and cycling through the city thus contributing positively to population health. In fact, estimates show that physical inactivity, linked to poor walkability and lack of access to recreational areas, accounts for 3.3% of global deaths.
There is robust evidence to support the claim that green space has a positive impact on people’s wellbeing with features such as parks, rivers and trees creating more liveable and pleasing urban environments. Research has shown that having access to green space can reduce health inequalities, improve well-being and aid in the treatment of mental illness.
Importantly, green spaces also help to regulate the impacts of harmful emissions in the city. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and help to filter out harmful pollution while urban waterways such as lakes, rivers or even fountains moderate temperature and together with vegetation, play a vital role in cooling cities. In some areas, it has been estimated that evapotranspiration (the process of converting water in leaves to water vapor which is then transpired through the trees) can reduce peak summer temperatures by 5°C. Additionally, green spaces provide areas where runoff interception can occur, thus reducing the likelihood of flooding, an issue particularly pertinent to Scotland where winter rainfall is expected to increase between 10-35% in some areas.
Supporting the development of green infrastructure is becoming an even more prominent part of urban policymaking across the world. From street planters to citizen gardening, the following section describes a couple of examples in which local authorities in Scotland are helping to create healthier, greener cities. Read the rest of this entry »
Preserving dignity looks like it is being built into the design Scotland’s new social security system. It’s also the phrase that was at the heart of work undertaken by the Poverty Truth Commission and Nourish Scotland on the community provision of food. Consideration of how something might impact on a person’s dignity, could really transform the way we think about the delivery of public services. Here’s a great example of a community project in Aberdeen which tackles food poverty but always with a keen eye on preserving the dignity of those they serve.
A basket full of high-quality food for £2.50 may seem too good to be true – but that’s now the reality for shoppers at Scotland’s first food pantry.
The Woodside Pantry in Aberdeen provides people living in one of the city’s most disadvantaged areas a way to shop for a lot less.
It is an innovative, community-run project. The aim is to combat food poverty, and it has been hailed as a sustainable alternative to food bank use.
“I can get some really good healthy food at a very reasonable price”
For a small weekly charge, members get access to food donated by supermarkets and a local charity. Clare Whyte, one of the workers at the community centre where the pantry is based, told BBC Scotland’s The Nine: “Food banks are not a long-term solution. It’s an emergency food service, really.
“This could be a way to reduce food waste which is massive and a huge issue as we know and also tackle food poverty at the same time.
Food parcels from food banks are often only available to people who have been referred by frontline professionals like GPs or advice agencies. But membership of the Woodside Pantry was initially open to anyone living in the immediate area around the Fersands and Fountain Community Centre, where the project is based. It proved so popular that the catchment area has now been widened and the membership cap extended. Almost half of the people using the service receive benefits or Jobseeker’s Allowance. A quarter of the users are single parents. There are now 83 households with membership to the pantry, and more than 200 local residents – including children – are directly benefitting.
“I can get some very good, healthy food at a very reasonable price,” said Margaret Aisbitt, who was one of the first to sign up. Read the rest of this entry »
Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with Dementia? Do you support someone who is currently living with Dementia? If so then we need to hear from you!
The Aberdeenshire Health & Social Care Partnership (AHSCP) is currently in the early stages of developing an Aberdeenshire wide Dementia Strategy and is looking to hear from people affected by Dementia.
To support people with lived experience to tell us about their Dementia journey, we have developed a series of ‘Village Storytelling’ events. Developed in partnership with The Village Storytelling Centre and delivered by colleagues across the health and social care partnership and third sector, sessions will allow those taking part tell their story in a safe and supported environment.
Chair of the Integration Joint Board (IJB) Rhona Atkinson, said, “This strategy will set out how the Partnership supports those living with Dementia and their families over the next 5 years. It is such an important area for us, so it is vital that we understand what support people need, when they need it, what is working well and not so well, now.
“The team working on the strategy have set out a great way to support those who are already living with dementia to participate through the Storytelling sessions and I would urge anyone who is able to come along and join in”
Vice Chair of the IJB, Cllr Anne Stirling, said, “We need to hear from everyone, people with a diagnosis, Unpaid Carers, Volunteers, Third Sector Organisations, family members, professionals; everyone! Whether you do this through the storytelling sessions or through the online survey the team will support you to participate in a way that works for you”
Dementia Storytelling session (Peterhead) – 3rd July 2019, tickets can be booked via – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dementia-storytelling-session-peterhead-tickets-63109065915
Dementia Storytelling session (Inverurie) – 4th July 2019, – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dementia-storytelling-session-inverurie-tickets-63107832225
Dementia Storytelling session (Stonehaven) – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dementia-storytelling-session-stonehaven-tickets-63109373836
In addition to the public events any groups or care settings who would wish to hold their own storytelling session are invited to request one via firstname.lastname@example.org
The feedback gathered from the ‘Village Storytelling’ sessions and the survey will be used to develop and inform a draft strategy which will be widely consulted on prior to being finally agreed by the IJB.
From December-March, SEPA will be running a reactive communications campaign in response to flooding in Scotland (coastal, river, surface water and snowmelt). SEPA’s Flooding Communications team will monitor the daily Flood Guidance Statements issued by the Scottish Flood Forecasting Service (SFFS), and will seek to activate the campaign when flooding is likely or expected and potential impacts are significant or severe. Upon activating the campaign, key messages will be broadcast on radio and digital channels, and members of the public will be encouraged to visit the Floodline Scotland website where they can sign up to Floodline, SEPA’s public facing flood warning service, and find tips and advice on how to prepare for flooding.
Check your flood risk
– Are you at risk of coastal, river, surface water, snowmelt flooding?
– Does flooding impact you at home, at work, on the road?
Flooding is forecast in your area, plan ahead
– Visit the Floodline website for advice and to register for free flood messages.
– Do you have a plan or flood kit ready?
Floodline can give you advance warning when flooding is expected
– Register online at floodlinescotland.org.uk or by phone on 0345 988 1188.
– You can use your Floodline account to register more than one address, e.g. your property, work or regular travel routes.
How can you get involved?
The aim of the campaign is to provide individuals and communities with advance notice of flooding as well as access to the information they need to be prepared and take action. In order to reach as many members of the public at risk of flooding, we would appreciate your help.
On Twitter and Facebook channels Sepa will share graphics, advice on preparing for flooding, flood alert and flood warning messages. Please retweet or share content on your own social media channels and tag any interested parties who may benefit from this information. For more general awareness raising communications, please feel free to use some of the suggested social media messages below.
Suggested messages for sharing on social media
Dark nights and mornings make it harder to find your way in an emergency. Sign up to Floodline for flood alerts and warnings and keep a torch close by to your bed http://bit.ly/2jPtDrh.
Changed address or phone number? Don’t forget to update your Floodline account with your new
information. Phone Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or update online http://bit.ly/2jMv8qv.
Is your workplace in a flood risk area? Don’t get stranded, plan ahead. Check for alternative routes home and sign up to Floodline for free, advanced flood warning messages sent to your phone
Did you know only 15cm of water can knock you off your feet? During a flood, be sure you stay safe and stay away! Visit Floodline Scotland for more advice on how to protect yourself during a flood
Are you ready for Scotland’s winter? Be prepared for flooding and sign up to Floodline to receive free flood messages direct to your phone http://bit.ly/2jPtDrh.
Fife Council have come up with an innovative way to invest in their landscape, wildlife, culture and heritage, the Big Green Footprint scheme.
Interested, read on to find out more!
Visitors should be able to enjoy the landscape, wildlife, culture and heritage that Fife has to offer today, without compromising the ability for people to continue to enjoy all that Fife has to offer tomorrow and into the future. Each year Fife draws millions of visitors to the coast and countryside for adventure and quiet enjoyment. However with so many footsteps on paths and wheels on roads some impact on our natural environment is inevitable. It is all about finding a balance between encouraging recreation and tourism to support local livelihoods and protecting and conserving the environment.
The Big Green Footprint scheme is a way of offering visitors the opportunity to give a little something back to the places they love and providing a mechanism for collecting those small contributions which, collectively, add up to a significant amount of funding.
The Big Green Footprint scheme is not a one-size-fits-all type of scheme, but that is one of its great strengths. It is creative, flexible and multifaceted and works in many different ways across a wide range of businesses. Indeed any business which has guests or customers can operate ‘The Big Green Footprint Scheme’.
Businesses can gain Big Green Footprint accreditation in a number of ways, for example, Cafés and Restaurants can name an item on the menu the ‘Coastal Path Loaf or the East Lomond Slice’ and add a small fee to the item to contribute to the work of the Trust in your area, retailers – why not select an item of stock and advertise that part of the proceeds go towards the upkeep of the Coastal Path?
Want to know more, click on the link http://fifecoastandcountrysidetrust.co.uk/Support-Us/Big-Green-Footprint-Scheme_9.html
In 1930s Britain, lidos and open air pools were incredibly popular. Following a poll of Stonehaven householders in 1933, the Pool was built the following year at a cost of £9,529 and opened on 4th June 1934. Stonehaven Pool was built to competition standards, which at that time were for races of 110 yards and multiples of that, so Stonehaven Pool was, and is, 55 yards long – just a touch over 50m and 20 yards – just over 18m – wide. It was emptied and refilled every few days – at that time, filling took only 2¾ hours. Even considering operating costs and loan charges, the first season brought a large profit. Customer feedback was not all positive and so, for season 1935, not only was the sea water circulated, filtered and disinfected, it was also heated!
During the Second World War, the Pool provided recreation – and showers – for locally-based troops. Following the war, it quickly retained its former glory, and became a major attraction for visitors from a wide area including Aberdeen. Despite changing holiday habits in the 1960s and 70s, and the Pool requiring considerable work, attendances were still healthy, with 65,000 passing through the turnstiles in 1975, although that was a season of many lost days due to technical problems.
For a few seasons, the Pool was actually filled with fresh water because of problems with the sea inlet; however seawater – one of the Pool’s main attractions – was in use again for 1982, and has been used ever since. The 1980s and 90s saw a decline in numbers, seasons were cut to 8 weeks, and by the mid-1990s the Pool was threatened with closure. This prompted the founding of a community group, The Friends of Stonehaven Open Air Pool, initially to lobby for its retention. The Friends of Stonehaven Open Air Swimming Pool is now a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) and works in close partnership with Aberdeenshire Council. While the Council operates the Pool to the highest standards, the Friends maintain, enhance and promote the Pool.
Today the Pool is the focal point of Stonehaven’s summer and is an asset not only for the town and Aberdeenshire but also for Scotland. Only one other open air pool of the era still operates in Scotland, largely serving a local population, while the Stonehaven Pool is acknowledged as a 4-star Visitor Attraction and brings visitors from far and wide.
Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.
Quarriers – Aberdeenshire Carer Support Service are hosting a series of promotional events during Carers Week, in partnership with Aberdeenshire Library and Information Service (ALIS). Libraries will display the winning entries from the recent adult carer poetry and photography competitions and Quarriers staff will be going on tour with the central and south mobile library buses to reach out to hidden carers in rural areas. A presentation booklet of the winning entries and details on where unpaid carers can get support will be available for the public to take away. If you would like to find out the routes on their tour please visit:
Mobile Library Central – www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/media/22122/m1-central-mar-jun-2018.pdf
Mobile Library South – www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/media/22123/m4-south-mar-jun-2018.pdf