- A decade and a half of environmental legislation
- It's never too early to learn about the climate emergency
- Our strategy to inspire action for our environment
- FARE Lochend - Where good news is standard
- Glashieburn's LEAF journey
- An Interview with Travel Influencer Chris Lawlor
- Climate action with hope and optimism
- The Big River Irvine Riverbank Clean
- Eating nettles and gazing at clouds: a LEAF reflection
- #TakeItBack to the start
- Dalry Primary School's LEAF journey
- Pedalling towards a sustainable future
- Chirnside Primary School's LEAF journey
- Flowerbank Early Childhood Centre's Pocket Garden Experience
- To keep Scotland beautiful we all need to take action
- Applegarth and Hutton’s LEAF journey
- Our hope for a nature positive Scotland
- Becoming a Platinum Carbon Literate Organisation
- Volunteering with KSB and loving every minute
- We are all accountable for our actions
- Hillhead students talk keeping Kelvingrove Park beautiful
- Making it easy to choose a reusable cup for takeaway drinks
- Get to know...John MacLennan
- Get to know...Sandy Scott
- How Eco-Schools benefits pupils, teachers and communities
- Community gardening for climate, nature and heritage in Cumbernauld
- Tackling the litter emergency to protect our wild isles
- Scotland isn't looking so beautiful. We can change that.
- Get to know... Green Flag Award Judges
- Collaboration and innovation to tackle marine litter
- An introduction to Kinnesswood in Bloom...
- The litter emergency
- Our charity faces the environmental challenges ahead with optimism
- Wrapping up 2022
- Biodiversity - Reflections on COP15
- Small steps to protect biodiversity
- Why Mountains Matter
- It’s not just bees and butterflies on your flowers
- Wet Wipes - What's the Issue?
- Young Reporters on the Route: The Launch of Running Out of Time
- Getting to know... Tom Brock OBE
- Getting to know...Kyle Usher
- A busy day for Upstream Battle education
- Planning a Wedding with the Planet in Mind
- 'Disposable' vapes and the damage they cause
- Climate Emergency Training provides positive opportunities for young people
- Making climate action possible for everyone
- Reasons to be positive
- Shotts is ACTing NOW on climate change
- Hope is a Garden
- Do we need the word 'pests' anymore?
- Beautiful Scotland judging - the truth
- Supporting Scotland to be the very greenest destination it can be
- Arbroath - working together, inspiring local climate action and improving lives
- Reflections of a beach manager
- I do like to be beside the seaside
- Climate Action Schools - helping young people take action
- Inspiring and empowering young people
- Climate Ready Classrooms at George Heriot's
- Data drives decisions
- Litter, fines and doing time
- Why our Web Developer Cameron loves being part of Team KSB
- It's only one
- Why join the family of It’s Your Neighbourhood?
- YoungScot Legacy Event
- Why it is the sea and SDG 14 for me
- Litter picking - a surprisingly fun group activity
- Climate Action Skills and positive action for all
- Seeing community groups thrive with Beautiful Scotland and It's Your Neighbourhood
- (What to do on) a dreich morning on the Firth of Clyde
- West Lothian Litter Pickers – How I got involved
- Scotland’s Climate Festival – Seed funding for community action
- Climate Ready Classrooms at St. Paul’s RC High School
- Scottish Book Trust representative joins Pocket Garden judging panel
- Have #YourSayOnLitter - we plan to...
- Everyone has something to say about litter – time to make it count
- Who ya gonna call?
- Why I pick up other people's garbage.
- Getting to Know...Colin
- Creative Careers: Spotlight on Heritage #NoWrongPath
- Taking small steps towards a more sustainable future
- Caring for our planet
- Football’s Power to Combat Climate Change
- Our work on the COP26 Youth Climate Programme
- What’s litter got to do with climate change?
- Scotland’s Climate Festival kicks off in Falkirk
- Responsible Tourism – an opportunity not to be missed
- Climate Change Vlog by Dalry Primary School
- Failing our future?
- Our Week of Climate Action
- #ScotClimateWeek - our impacts and actions
- Protecting the sand and sea
- Another fine mess – part one
- Designing a lower carbon Scotland
- Getting to know... Lisa Snedden
- Combating climate change with information, education and training
- Litter picking 500 miles was always Gonna Be easy
- 7K for 7 Flags Challenge
- Littering less at St Joseph's Primary School in Glasgow
- Smashing litter picking targets during an unexpected stay in Scotland
- Keeping our communities beautiful
- Celebrating our brilliant volunteers
- Designing a pocket garden
- Getting to know... Nicola Smith
- East Haven Together
- It’s time to litter-ly turn anger into action
- Working in partnership to give communities a helping hand to clean up Scotland
- Why Beautiful Scotland is important to Lauder in Bloom
- We can all be climate ready
- Climate Ready Classrooms at Speyside High School
- Taking part in It's Your Neighbourhood
- Bags of opportunity for good
- Getting to know... Eve Keepax
- Lucky to live here
- A year of opportunity ahead
Scotland is beautiful. We have majestic mountains, castles and lochs. We have beautiful beaches and brilliant urban and rural green spaces right across the country. And, we have communities and local authorities in cities, towns and villages seeking to enhance and improve the places they live.
We all have our favourite space – a hidden gem, or a tourist hotspot.
Something that they often all have in common is excellent management – across the country there are teams of people working to minimise the impact of our presence on the natural environment and animals and plants that call these spots their home.
Often good management goes unnoticed. But, Keep Scotland Beautiful has recognised the best managed beaches and parks through two award schemes for almost three decades. This year it seems so much more important to celebrate these spaces and the people – employees and volunteers - who work so hard to keep them so beautiful for us all to enjoy.
Our research has shown that in the last year, over 40% of people have spent more time using outside space in their neighbourhoods, reconnecting with their local environment and communities – many of these spaces, our local parks and beaches provided us with a lifeline at times of lockdown.
We know from those people managing such places that the increase in users has put pressure like never before on them. Our recent litter surveys have once again highlighted that where there are people in large numbers, there are unacceptable levels of litter tipping us closer towards a litter emergency. In fact, 9 in 10 people agree litter is a problem across Scotland.
Yet, despite this, community groups, local authorities, hospitals, and university grounds teams have committed to managing their green spaces. This month 77 sites received a Green Flag Award – an international benchmark which celebrates well maintained green spaces and parks – so important for our mental and physical wellbeing.
And back in June, we presented 52 beaches – from Shetland to the Scottish Borders - with Scotland’s Beach Award. This national benchmark celebrates clean, well-managed and sustainable beaches – so important when we know from consumer research that now, more than ever, visitors are being drawn to our coastline to improve their wellbeing, many taking up wild swimming and paddle boarding.
It’s thanks to the incredible work of those local authorities, charities and communities that we are able to experience these clean beaches and parks across Scotland.
In neighbourhoods across Scotland there are hundreds more parks, beaches, streets and urban spaces, all treasured by people who live there and visit them. Spaces that we connect with, where the heritage resonates with us, and that might need protecting, enhancing and celebrating.
If you know of such a space, why not think about getting involved to maintain and develop it or consider applying for an award. We are here to support you every step of the way, connecting you to others on the same journey.
Join us in keeping Scotland beautiful and celebrate those working tirelessly to do so.
First published in the Scotsman on 11 November 2021.