A new network of 13 'Commonwealth Woods' was launched in June 2013 in the Kilpatrick Hills, with the aim of encouraging communities across the Glasgow area to head outdoors and get active. A legacy project of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the network includes woods that are well-established, boasting ancient trees and wildlife, to newly-planted woods and a riverside park that's being created out of derelict land opposite the Commonwealth Games athletes' village.
Paths for All are working in partnership with Forestry Commission Scotland in the development of this network and have recently launched the Commonwealth Woodland Walks project to engage local communities with walking and other forms of physical activity within the 13 woodlands. The Woodland Walking Development Officer will be creating many new opportunities for people to get involved, get active and be inspired in the build up to and following the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
21. Community Links Programme - Sustrans Scotland
Community Links is a project funded by Transport Scotland and coordinated by Sustrans Scotland. The project offers local authority and other partners '50-50 match' funding for projects that allow people to choose to travel for short journeys under their own steam. While the funding sits under the umbrella of the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland (CAPS) vision of 10% of trips by bike by 2020, the infrastructure delivered by the partnerships does have benefit to pedestrians by creating shred use path networks in communities across Scotland.
The project has been running since 2004 and has delivered over 300 projects. Particularly good examples of Community Links projects that have benefited pedestrians include the re-surfacing and lighting of the Union Canal towpath in Edinburgh, links to a school in Tarbet, Argyll and improvements to the Lade path network in Perth.
22. Creating Walkable Communities - Living Streets Scotland
Living Streets Scotland's Walkable Communities project works with communities to help them identify improvements to their walking environment, making it easier for people of all abilities to make more local journeys on foot. The project, funded by Paths for All and Scottish Government, uses a systematic street audit approach, delivering a range of benefits to all stakeholders, including empowering and enabling community groups to bring about positive changes to their neighbourhoods.
Between 2012 and 2014, the programme supported Craigentinny and Duddingston Environment Forum, to facilitate four audits of local streets. Local residents worked alongside representatives from City of Edinburgh Council and local police teams to identify and prioritise issues, ranging from physical barriers to walking, including over grown vegetation, uneven pavement surfaces or poorly sited drop kerbs and crossings, to social issues including anti-social behaviour.
Results have included: renewal of public spaces for residents, removal of litter and fly-tipping, a 'Week of Action' culminating in a community clean-up, creation of a new Neighbourhood Association, through to development of a new masterplan for the area and fundraising of £65,000 to contribute to improving the physical environment.
Email received from new Neighbourhood Association:
"We have accomplished quite a bit within the community in the past few weeks, so are all feeling pretty positive. We have had locks removed from drying areas, sofas collected, bins moved/removed, and some walk-abouts with council officers..."
Email: Donna MacKinnon