Central Scotland Green Network

NatureScot is helping to make the central belt’s green and blue spaces more accessible by supporting this growing network.

The Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) was launched in 2009 and is one of the largest environmental projects of its kind in Europe, stretching from Ayrshire and Inverclyde in the west to Fife and the Lothians in the east. The network promotes natural initiatives to make central Scotland a more attractive place to live, work and visit. It is part of the Scottish Government’s National Planning Frameworks 3 and 4.

Logo for RZSS conservation

The network aims to:

  • deliver nature based solutions to climate change issues, through improved and new woodland, peatland restoration and wetland and coastal management.
  • join up fragmented habitats to allow species to move; this is particularly important as species adapt to climate change
  • encourage high quality green infrastructure within urban design.
  • promote health and wellbeing through improved cycling and walking networks for active travel and increased availability and use of local quality greenspace.
  • Restore vacant and derelict land.

The Green Action Trust is responsible for co-ordinating partners and work on the ground to help deliver the CSGN and NatureScot works closely with them and other partners to help deliver the aims of the CSGN.

How NatureScot supports the CSGN

Habitat Connectivity Map

We have developed a new habitat mapping tool which shows existing habitat patches in Central Scotland and predicts opportunity areas where these can be connected.

The map layers can be downloaded from our Open Data Hub website and an interactive map is available for anyone to view and does not require specialised mapping software. 

For more information and guidance on how to use the map, please refer to the user guide.

For a briefer summary, please see the promotional brochure.

You can read a list of frequently asked questions.

Landscape Partnership Projects

NatureScot is involved in a number of landscape partnership projects which are helping delivering the aims of the CSGN.

  • Seven Lochs Wetland Park is Scotland’s largest urban nature park. NatureScot is a member of the Seven Lochs Partnership, which secured £4.5 million from the National Heritage Lottery Fund for the Seven Lochs Heritage Project, running from 2016 to 2023.
  • Inner Forth Futures (IFF) is a partnership working around the shores of the upper River Forth, to promote its natural and cultural heritage, and support communities to take a greater role in managing the area’s heritage themselves.  IFF was recently awarded NLHF funding for the first year of the Climate FORTH development phase.  Climate FORTH will facilitate and demonstrate the transformative action needed to transition to a climate literate, ready and resilient place. By responding to local need and demand, it will explore and share ways for local heritage to be an asset for a sustainable green recovery with multiple benefits. IFF is made up of NatureScot, RSPB, Green Action Trust, Sustrans, HES, and four local authorities: Clackmannanshire Council, Stirling Council, Falkirk Council and Fife Council. 
  • Leven Programme Partnership is a multi-partner (including NatureScot) project.   The programme’s vision is that by 2030 the Leven catchment will be a living, breathing example of inclusive growth, achieving the environmental improvements whilst maximising social and economic opportunities.
  • Coalfield Communities Landscape Partnership (CCLP)  covers a large part of south East Ayrshire and aims to renew the landscape, create opportunities for learning and recreation within the landscape, reveal the past lives of the communities and equip people with the skills and knowledge to manage their landscape sustainably.

Landscape Partnership Projects - Funding

NatureScot manages a number of funding streams which are helping support projects that deliver the aims of the CSGN.

Green Infrastructure Fund 

  • NatureScot won European funding to deliver £37 million of green infrastructure from 2016 to 2023 through the Green Infrastructure fund, mostly in urban areas of the central belt.  Find out more on the Green Infrastructure Scotland website.

Peatland Action Fund

  • Our Peatland Action project directed over £30 million of Scottish Government funding to improve 25,000 hectares of peatland in Scotland between 2012 and 2020 and a new round of funding is currently open for applications.

Nature Restoration Fund

  • The first round of the Scottish Government's Nature Restoration Fund to tackle biodiversity loss and climate change was announced in 2021 and the £5m distributed by NatureScot went to 54 successful projects, almost half of which are in the CSGN. The next round of the fund is now open for applications.
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