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Central Scotland Green Network

Scottish Natural Heritage 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) stretches from Ayrshire and Inverclyde to Fife and the Lothians. 

This long-term initiative aims to connect the green and blue spaces in central Scotland's towns and cities - both to each other and to our wider countryside and coast.

The network will:

  • create attractive landscapes for a range of uses by restoring vacant and derelict land
  • improve cycling and walking networks to promote active travel and healthier lifestyles
  • help to absorb CO2 by managing carbon rich soils and increasing woodland expansion
  • join up distinct habitats to allow species to move in response to climate change
  • make central Scotland a more attractive place to live, visit and do business

SNH and Forestry Commission Scotland were the joint lead partners in setting up CSGN, which launched in September 2009. Support has come from public, private and third sector organisations as well as local communities.

In 2014, the Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT) was created to drive the initiative forward. SNH continues to support the initiative, both in our own work and by getting behind ambitious CSGN projects.

How we support CSGN

Create attractive landscapes

SNH has won European funding to deliver £37 million of green infrastructure from 2016, mostly in urban areas of the central belt.

Find out more on the Green Infrastructure Scotland website

Improve cycling and walking networks

SNH led partners in creating the John Muir Way, which opened in April 2014. The next stage is to link Glasgow city centre to the John Muir Way near Strathblane.

An aspiration of the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) is to develop a strategic network of walking and cycling routes over 5miles or 8km long for active and recreational travel.

SNH developed the CSGN strategic routes map with help from local and national park authorities, strategic development planning authorities, Regional Transport Partnerships and Sustrans. The CSGN map shows existing, planned and aspirational routes as well as key barriers such as missing bridges and busy roads.

Please note that the map is based on information provided by the local authorities in 2015. It is indicative at this stage, and may change as and when routes are developed.

Manage carbon rich soils

Our Peatland Action project used £8 million of Scottish Government funding to improve 8,580 hectares of peatland in Scotland between 2012 and 2016.

Connect habitats

We are using a habitat network mapping tool to guide our work, connecting fragmented areas of habitat.

SNH leads the £2.3m EcoCo LIFE project to improve 'ecological coherence' in the CSGN area. The project began in summer 2014 and runs until 2018. 

Make Central Scotland more attractive

Seven Lochs Wetland Park will be Scotland’s largest urban nature park. SNH is one of the project partners who together secured £4.5 million for the park from the Heritage Lottery Fund in July 2016.

In June 2014, Scottish Canals opened the Glasgow to Edinburgh Canoe Trail We provided some of the funding for this through the CSGN Development Fund.

CSGN Development Fund

This fund supports projects that will improve the quality and connectivity of the network. Find out about CSGN Development Fund