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Learn how to create better spaces for people and nature

Butterfly Conservation and NatureScot share insight ahead of their upcoming nature-positive greenspace event at Southside Housing Association. 

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By Ivan Clark, NatureScot and Anthony McCluskey, Butterfly Conservation Scotland.

Getting outdoors and connecting with nature has a range of benefits for health and well-being. Research shows that people who are more connected with nature are usually happier in life and more likely to report feeling their lives are worthwhile. Nature can generate many positive emotions, such as calmness, joy, and creativity and can facilitate concentration. Nature connectedness is also associated with lower levels of poor mental health, particularly lower depression and anxiety.

Unfortunately however, the traditional way that greenspace around most social housing sites is managed means that there aren’t as many places where nature can thrive as there could be. And more than ever, nature needs our help, for example 97% of Britain’s wildflower meadows have been lost over the last 75 years. That's bad news for many scarce and declining species of flowers and plants, and also for the insects that depend on them.

This is why NatureScot is teaming up with Butterfly Conservation Scotland to invite managers of social housing greenspace to “Nature-positive greenspace for social housing” -

A free training and sharing good practice event on Monday June 17 2024 in Glasgow. This in-person event will provide attendees with advice on how greenspace around social housing can be managed in a more nature-positive ways including:

  • Managing existing grasslands to maximise biodiversity, including different methods for cutting amenity grassland;
  • Introducing wildflowers to grassland to improve diversity;
  • The best trees and shrubs for hedging to maximise biodiversity, including insect pollinators, birds and mammals.

The day will include a site visit to recent examples of nature-positive amenity grassland management on social housing greenspace in Glasgow and a chance to discuss with site managers how they’ve achieved it. We’ll also discuss how to sell the benefits of nature-positive greenspace management and the best ways to engage with residents to ensure that spaces meet the needs of people as well as nature.

This event is free to practitioners (including factors, estate managers, ‘in house’ maintenance teams and contractors) who have practical experience of managing greenspace in a social housing setting or similar situation. If you would like to attend then please sign up through this Eventbrite link. Places are offered on a first come first served basis, though we are also operating a waiting list with a view to delivering another event later in the year subject to demand. So – please do join us in June to find out more about how we can help nature to help us!

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