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Open Space Strategy

Snowdrops in a West Lothian park  

LATEST - Please click here to find out details of your nearest greenspace (new window)   - Further information on Scotland's greenspace maps can be viewed below

NEW - Please click here to download the West Lothian Allotment Strategy

What do we mean by Open Spaces?

For the purposes of this Strategy, we have focused on public parks, amenity open spaces and sports pitches.

What does the Strategy do?

The Strategy provides an overall vision for the provision, development, regeneration and management of open spaces throughout West Lothian, from 2005 to 2015. It is an instrument for bringing together the aims of different council services with responsibilities for open space and liaising with users, community groups, other organisations and the private sector. It helps us to identify areas where open spaces are in good supply, where they are needed and where the quality of the open spaces offered could be better. This has helped us to draw up an action plan of park improvements spanning 5 years from 2007 to 2012. It has also already helped us to identify areas of land which must be safeguarded for the future in order to ensure that the communities around them continue to have easy access to quality open space.

Open Space is becoming increasingly important as we move forward in addressing the following challenges:

Environmental sustainability
Health and healthier lifestyles
Inclusion & social equity
Sustainable economic growth
Quality of place and place competitiveness

Open Space has a key role in delivering outputs across a breadth of environmental, social and economic goals linking to cross-cutting themes in both the Community Plan and Development Plan. Equally important, is the need to deliver real and meaningful benefits to communities that address local needs in a manner that offers best value. This Open Space Strategy, supported by a detailed Open Space Audit and GIS / Access Database,offers an innovative and powerful tool kit to improve Open Space planning.

Please see the documents below or click on the following Link to view the Open Space Strategy/Locations documents

Open Space Strategy Documents (new window)

An Open Space Strategy for West Lothian
West Lothian Council (NETs & Land Services), addressing the Scottish Executive guidance in PAN 65 Planning and Open Space, commissioned an Open Space Audit and Open Space Strategy in 2004. This report summarises the Open Space Strategy. The Strategy provides a strategic vision for the provision, development, regeneration and management of Open Space within West Lothian for the period 2005-2015.

Scotlands greenspace map - a world first!
Scotlands Greenspace Map is a world first - no other country has mapped its greenspace in this way. It is an innovative Geographical Information System (GIS) based map which provides comprehensive information on the location, extent and type of greenspace across all of Scotland?s urban settlements (i.e. towns and cities with a population of 3,000 or more).

The Map was compiled in 2011 from greenspace data provided by all 32 Scottish Councils. The local datasets were produced using greenspace mapping characterisation. This involved using GIS maps and aerial photography to categorise greenspaces into 23 different open space types (based on the typology set out in Planning Advice Note 65 Planning and Open Space); these include public parks, play areas, allotments, amenity greenspace, private gardens. Primary and secondary codes are used to capture multi-functional greenspaces, for example, play areas or woodland within larger public parks.

Scotlands Greenspace Map can be viewed as an interactive map and the GIS data can be provided to users with appropriate Ordnance Survey licence arrangements. Click on the link  - (new window)

Developing Scotlands Greenspace Map
The project to develop the Scotlands Greenspace Map was led by greenspace scotland with support from Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage and Forestry Commission Scotland; all 32 Scottish Councils actively supported the project and provided information.

More about Scotlands greenspace
The second State of Scotlands Greenspace report will be published in winter 2011. For the first time this will cover all of urban Scotland. It will draw on greenspace data from Scotlands Greenspace Map and the results of the fourth biennial greenspace use and attitudes survey.

updated 03/05/12