Scottish parks and greenspaces are in decline following cuts to funding
An alarm call has sounded over the state of Scotland’s public parks.
Research by the Heritage Lottery Fund shows Scotland is doing worse than other countries in terms of visitor numbers and upkeep of parks.
Scotland is also suffering a higher percentage of revenue cuts to parks and recreation budgets, the research found.
This report should give us all cause to reflect on whether the right decisions are being made
And the report predicts the quality and condition of parks will dramatically decline if action is not taken now to address this emerging crisis.
Across the UK the research found 86% of park managers had cut budgets since 2010 and expected this trend to continue for the next three years.
It also discovered 45% of local authorities are considering either selling parks and greenspaces or transferring their management to others.
Julie Procter, chief executive of Greenspace Scotland said: "This is a clear alarm call for parks and greenspaces in Scotland.
“With the pressures on council budgets, difficult decisions on priorities have to be taken. This report should give us all cause to reflect on whether the right decisions are being made.
“What may have seemed relatively easy, low impact cost-savings on parks and greenspaces could have disproportionately negative and far-reaching impacts on our quality of life, our health and prosperity.”
The charity is supporting HLF's call for urgent action on five key areas: renewed local authority commitment, new partnerships, getting communities more involved, collecting data, and developing new finance models.
Procter added: “We call on the Scottish Government, local authorities, the voluntary sector, businesses and the public to heed this early warning and respond to the HLF's call for urgent action.”