Bonnie Dundee is a citywide network of community groups, organisations, Dundee City Council, businesses, schools, and individuals who are collectively making their city cleaner, greener and brighter. There is a great sense of community and enthusiasm from the many organisations and hundreds of volunteers who work hard to improve their environment and connect with their communities.
This network is working towards a more sustainable and inclusive future for everyone through projects which include: community growing, improving biodiversity, tackling the climate emergency, litter and waste reduction, and promoting better health and wellbeing through connecting to nature, greenspaces and each other.
In 2023, Dundee City Council, once again, was recognised with the Wright Sustainability Award: The council's Take a Pride in Your City campaign continues to improve the local environment, working with many local groups and developing an updated action plan which incorporates the themes of Local Environmental Quality, Waste and Recycling, City Centre Businesses, and Communications. A variety of perennial seed mixes are being tried at many grassland sites, and the group continues with its climate and pollinator themes. Countryside Rangers have been running school sessions and supporting outdoor delivery of a Nature Schools Project. Considerable thought and investment are going into the new active travel path system to enhance the biodiversity of the coastal grassland and link up with another local authority. They are using technology in a range of innovative ways including mapping the authority’s links to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, mapping ash dieback disease, and they are the first local authority in Scotland using the ClimateOS Platform.
In 2022, Dundee City Council won the Wright Sustainability Award: The council runs the Take a Pride in Your City campaign to improve the urban environment, working with many local groups through, for example, a huge range of litter picks, and this is being taken forward through a revised action plan. They promote and take part in many KSB campaigns, including the recent Upstream Battle campaign to stop marine litter at source. There was a city-wide celebration of COP 26, with a 6-week programme of 41 events, and the city has an ambitious climate action plan including investing in sustainable transport, for example, with 175 electric council vehicles. The university has long-standing environmental policies, for example, on encouraging travel by bikes. In terms of horticulture, some large areas have been sown with both annual and perennials to provide colour for people as well as a food source for insects, and the core volunteer group has continued its climate and pollinator themes into 2022, linking them into the Year of Stories with colours representing creativity as well as some silver for the Platinum Jubilee.
In 2021, Bonnie Dundee won the RHS Growing Communities Discretionary Award.
In 2019, Dundee City Council won the Wright Sustainability Discretionary Award: Dundee City Council is leading on a number of innovative initiatives which demonstrate best practice in sustainability, with a particular focus on the ‘environmental responsibility’ theme. Measures to support sustainable transport in the city are evident, with a strong focus on cycling. New cycleways leading into the heart of the city provide a cycle friendly network and secure bike parking at the station, and the Bike & Go scheme, all encourage residents to explore active travel options. Plans to extend this further with an e-bike hire scheme are also being considered. New electric car charging hubs have been installed in the city, again near the city’s stations, and as well as using recycled materials in their construction, these are piloting solar panels on their roofs with battery storage on site, with the potential to generate enough power to charge cars for free. The natural restoration of the dunes at Broughty Ferry is a sympathetic solution to coastal erosion and already seems to be showing improvements in the stability of the dunes. Nearby, the management of the land alongside the railway has created a local nature reserve where wildflowers are being allowed to regenerate naturally and the area is now a haven for walkers and wildlife. Elsewhere, the sowing of annual wildflower panels around the city has not only enhanced visual appearance for residents and visitors, but has evidenced significant increases in pollinator numbers, as reported by local community volunteers.