Park Portraits Campaign launched to help raise vital funds for Scotland’s parks
Scotland’s first ever fund for parks and greenspaces is being launched with Parks4Life. The goal is to raise one million pounds by the end of 2023.
Organisers hope the fund will support Scotland’s parks with a sustainable income stream for the future. Each year, Scots make more than 162 million visits to local parks and greenspaces.
Greenspace Scotland is launching Park Portraits to celebrate the launch of the Parks4Life fund. The project is a digital photo gallery which brings to life the stories of a dozen Scottish people.
The aim is to show the ways in which parks have enriched their lives. From Aberdeen to Cumbernauld, Leith to Dumbarton, and across to the Hebrides, Greenspace Scotland has been working with Scottish photographer David Anderson.
David’s focus was to capture soulful portraits of people who exemplify the value that parks provide.
The funds raised through Parks4Life will be invested to provide an endowment to provide an ongoing source of funds for parks.
‘Greenspace is a universal service for all of Scotland’s urban residents – we know that access to these spaces is a massive factor in quality of life, and can be a game changer in creating healthier, happier and stronger communities,’ says Julie Procter, Chief Executive of Greenspace Scotland.
Nurturing and cherishing the future of Scottish parks and greenspaces
The endowment will be used by communities across Scotland to support local park improvements, activities and events. The aim is to ensure local parks, from large cities to small towns, are nurtured and cherished for the future.
The charity says parks and greenspaces are amazing places which are at the centre of our communities.
It adds that the areas are crucial as they provide ‘breathing spaces where we can take time out from the stresses of our everyday lives, places where we can relax and spend time with family and friends.’
‘The Park Portraits project has allowed us to tell the real stories of everyday park users, from those with fond family memories to the volunteers that enable these greenspaces to provide an oasis for their visitors,’ says Julie.
‘It’s been an absolute pleasure to hear how many people have a deep connection with their local park and are keen to share their stories.’
‘Our hope is the Park Portraits series will inspire other people who love their parks to support the Parks4Life fund by donating, as well as sharing their own park stories online.’
‘Together, we can help keep Scotland’s parks in good heart for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.’
Supporters add that the spaces allow nature to flourish in the heart of our towns and cities and that local greenspaces make a huge contribution to health, quality of life and community spirit.
Park Portrait series: celebrating people from a range of backgrounds
The Park Portrait series celebrates people from a wide range of backgrounds and uncovers their special reasons for enjoying parks.
One image features Willie Mungall. He is a veteran Royal Marine Commando who has improved his health with a weekly walking group in Edinburgh’s Saughton Park as part of the ‘Walk with a Doc’ programme – led by Health All Round.
Willie Mungall: a veteran Royal Marine Commando. Photographer: David Anderson.
Also featured is a small group of parents on the Isle of Coll who formed a committee in 2019 to build the first play park on the island.
After three years of fundraising and Covid setbacks, the committee led by Rosie Rutherford is finally celebrating the completion of the new play park that provides a space for children and families to enjoy together.
Other subjects include a Team Great Britain Paralympian who uses a set pre-competition ritual to clear his head along with three generations of a family that visit the park as the area holds special childhood memories for each of them.
There is also a stunning photograph of a professional ‘fire spinner’ which included all of the appropriate safety measures being in situ ahead of the start of the photoshoot.
The Park Portraits will be making their way through some of Scotland’s parks this autumn in a travelling exhibition aimed at inspiring the public to donate to the Parks4Life fund.
Greenspace Scotland is inviting park lovers from across Scotland to get involved with Parks4Life by taking their own Park Portrait and sharing their park story – or by making a donation to the Parks4Life Fund.
Share your own Park Portrait and park story!
Development of the Parks4Life Fund has been supported by a grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Using money raised by The National Lottery, the Heritage Fund inspires, leads and resources the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.
Donations to Parks4Life can be made online or by texting PARK to 70450 to make a one-off donation of £5.
People across Scotland who would like to share their own Park Portrait and park story are invited to post on social media using the hashtag #Parks4LifePortraits and submit to the Greenspace Scotland: https://www.greenspacescotland.org.uk