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Candide Cuttings: Scottish Gardens, Access to Natural Parks and Prison Conversion

Published on 13th March 2019

Discover Scottish Gardens

Discover Scottish Gardens, a branch of Visit Scotland, has received £37,000 to help spread the word about over 400 Scottish gardens, woodlands and plant nurseries open to visitors around the country.

The grant was awarded to Discover Scottish Gardens by the LEADER areas of Fife, Angus and Rural Perth and Kinross. The funding is available to local businesses, communities, farmers, foresters and land managers.

Discover Scottish Gardens has been operating since 2015, attracting over 140 members, including gardens, nurseries and related businesses nationwide.

Catherine Erskine, Chair of Discover Scottish Gardens, said: ‘Discover Scottish Gardens has made great strides with garden tourism over the past four years, encouraging visitors to enjoy our country’s amazing gardens and nurseries. By expanding our member network even further, we can showcase more of Scotland’s finest gardens and hidden gems to local and international tourists.’

Image of Inveraray Castle © Robert Pogson, all rights reserved.

Access to natural resources is increasing

A report published by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) indicates that although National Parks remain out of reach for many, local access to woodland is increasing.

The report highlights the impact The Mersey Forest has had since its establishment in 1991.

Paul Nolan, Director of the Mersey Forest, said: ‘The Mersey Forest Partnership has dramatically increased the availability of accessible woodland in hundreds of urban sites across Merseyside and north Cheshire over the past 25 years.’

Nolan states that 65% of people living in the vicinity of the forest use the green space for recreational purposes at least once per month.

Through a range of interactive maps, the organisation highlights that although there are a growing number of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Parks are still not accessible to many.

You can browse the report here and access the interactive map here.

Reinventing the HM Prison Kingston site

Plans to regenerate Portsmouth’s former HM Prison Kingston into 267 homes have been given approval, Grant Associates has announced.

Grant Associates is a Bath based landscape architecture firm. They will be representing the UK in China at the Beijing Horticultural Expo.

Guided by the concept of ‘Living in a Garden’ the project will incorporate the building’s original gardens to bring future residents together.

These features will include:

  • Enclosed courtyard gardens
  • Rain gardens, created by placing wet-tolerant plants around the perimeter of a central garden square
  • Extensive tree planting

Out of the 267 homes, 183 are expected to be affordable housing.

Keith French, director at Grant Associates said: ‘It’s wonderful to see this unusual scheme further evolve with the expectation it will deliver a significant proportion of affordable homes. Our role is to transform people’s perceptions of the former prison site, creating leafy and green communal spaces for residents and visitors to use and enjoy, as well as provide important habitat for wildlife.’

Storm Gareth

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for the rest of the week. Storm Gareth is the third storm the UK has experienced since the start of 2019.

All of England and Northern Ireland is expected to experience strong west to northwesterly winds. These could cause disruption to public transport as well as short term loss of power.

These strong winds may knock garden ornaments and accessories around, as well as break branches off trees. Pots and delicate plants should be moved to shelter.

The storm should ease up by Thursday and Friday, with yellow warnings limited to the NorthWest of England for the end of the week.

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