Demonstrating The Links

Action Research on Community Greenspaces


Eight community groups from across Scotland took part in a ground-breaking two-year project to investigate the impact of their own community greenspace.

The community-led action research approach means that the research projects were defined by the participating groups, making the research both practical and useful.  This approach maximises community involvement and develops skills and confidence.

Empowering communities to develop their own research should lead to outcomes that closely match the needs and aspirations of the communities themselves.  The results also provide relevant findings for other communities across Scotland to develop greenspaces that are fit for purpose - greenspaces that communities want.

The action research, backed by Greenspace Scotland, Communities Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and NHS Health Scotland, was developed with the Scottish Community Development Centre.  The impacts and outcomes from each community group's research is linked to national targets and priorities, enabling the widest lessons to be learnt from the experiences of real people.

The community groups taking part in the action research were:

  • Abbotshaugh Community Woodland
  • Ardler Village Trust
  • Balornock Community Allotments
  • Bridgend Community Allotments Project
  • Burdiehouse Burn Valley Park
  • Dunain Community Woodlands Trust
  • GOW Sustainable Backcourts Initiative
  • Healthy Roots

The action research provided community groups with mentor support, training and networking to enable them to develop and undertake their own research project.  Based on a model developed by Communities Scotland, this work helped build community capacity, deliver practical research projects and provide evidence of value to the community groups and the wider greenspace community.