Home to a haven of gorgeous greenery, Scotland’s cities are blessed with outstanding natural beauty. If you love the great outdoors, you’ll love our great green urban spaces.

“The voice of nature loudly cries. And many a message from the skies. That something in us never dies.” So declared the famous Scottish poet, Robert Burns.

Surrounded by superb scenery, Scotland’s urban centres are rich in greenspaces, providing the perfect environment to immerse yourself and enjoy the country’s glorious green open spaces, parks and gardens.

Wherever you’re from in the world, you’ll be drawn to Scotland’s green cities, all of which embody the country’s own natural beauty, giving you a sense of calm and relaxation amidst the hustle and bustle.   

A Mental Health Foundation report on nature and mental health revealed that more than two thirds of adults in the UK (70%) agreed that being close to nature improves their mood, and nearly half (49%) said it helps them to cope with stress.

Sustainable urban gardens welcome visitors

­Scotland’s cities are teeming with sustainable urban gardens, allotments and botanical venues – all of which will warm your heart if you enjoy being at one with nature and growing your own produce.

Meeting the green-fingered passion for UK and overseas’ students, the University of Dundee set-up around 20 new allotments on campus to enable individuals to grow their own fruit and vegetables. Even better, students at most of Scotland’s university cities have access to green spaces and shared gardens next to student accommodation through groups, clubs and various partnerships.

Carrots - Scotland's green cities

Embrace beautiful green beginnings

The International Day for Biological Diversity is on 22 May. Billed as “Building a shared future for all life”, this unique day will soon make you realise that Scotland is playing its part in providing and preserving green urban areas across its cities. It adds up to Scotland achieving a cleaner and greener future in biodiversity.

With many people energised to enjoy nature after various pandemic restrictions, Scotland is the place to be as it seeks to improve biodiversity, to protect climate, food and water security, and sustainable livelihoods.

Scotland is springing into action with many organisations, partners and initiatives joining forces to promote biodiversity. A shining example of putting nature first is the Species on the Edge Programme, led by NatureScot, delivering nine projects for 40 vulnerable species across seven areas along Scotland's coast and islands.

The initiative works with local communities in some of Scotland’s most remote areas to establish projects that are a vital lifeline for our most nationally and internationally vulnerable coastal and island wildlife.

Such proactive green schemes foster a greater good for nature, underpinned by Scotland’s Biodiversity Strategy.

The Greenspace Map for Scotland

Scotland’s Greenspace Map is a useful resource to find where you can enjoy Scotland’s verdant urban spaces – handy for studying in the summer sunshine – or if you want to kick back and relax with family and friends. 

You’re spoilt for choice with biodiversity spaces in Scotland. The interactive map gives information about the type and extent of greenspace in urban Scotland (i.e. towns and cities with a population of over 3000), provided by the 32 Scottish Councils.

The map is useful if you’re a student or a young professional who likes the outdoors. It categorises greenspace into 23 different open space types (for example, public parks, private gardens, play areas, semi-natural, community gardens and allotments).

Scotland belongs to Europe's largest urban nature fund

You’re in great company if you support biodiversity and have eyes on living in Scotland’s green cities. With around 80% of the population living in urban areas, the nation is part of Europe's largest urban nature fund (Green Infrastructure Fund). This fund is creating multi-functional sites to improve biodiversity value, environmental equality, health and wellbeing, plus address social inclusion.

As part of Scotland’s commitment to biodiversity, over 44 million trees have been planted, and 250,000 hectares of degraded and drained peatland are being restored back to functioning ecosystems.

So, the stage is set. Scotland’s green urban cities are here for living, working, visiting and studying in. The nation offers a picture-perfect canvas to enjoy. From Net Zero policies to presenting beautiful pockets of biodiversity, Scotland will make you relax and smile, wherever you’re from in the world.  

And remember: “The voice of nature loudly cries” in Scotland.

Isn’t it time you answered that cry from its glorious green cities?

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