Map of Scotland's urban green space is world first

image captionUsers can search the map and zoom in to find out about green spaces in their area

A new map has been published showing all the green spaces in urban Scotland.

Greenspace Scotland has gathered data about parks, play areas, playing fields, gardens and allotments dotted up and down the country.

The information has now been made available online. No other country in the world is thought to have mapped its green space in this way.

The results show Scotland has 1,112 sq km (429 sq mile) of urban green space - the area of 160,000 football pitches.

Greenspace Scotland, a charitable organisation, led the project with funding support from the Scottish government, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Forestry Commission Scotland.

Data was provided by Scotland's 32 local authorities.

Members of the public can search the interactive map using place names or postcodes and use simple navigation and zoom tools to find out about green space in their area.

The tool may also help councils develop planning and environmental policy.

Those who produced the map said it would provide a baseline for future updates, allowing them to track changes in the amount and type of green space in Scotland's towns and cities.

Julie Procter, chief executive of Greenspace Scotland, said: "The map is a significant achievement for Scotland and a powerful demonstration of how effectively national and local Scottish organisations can work together on projects of national importance.

"Nowhere else in the world can people check out their local green space at the click of a button.

"Behind that simple action lies several years of work with local authorities to develop consistent data and collaboration with partners to collate the information and develop ways of making the data widely accessible."

The map will be officially launched by Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, Stewart Stevenson.

Susan Davies, SNH director of policy and advice, said: "We have an amazing variety of parks and public gardens in Scotland - and with Scotland's Greenspace Map, anyone can now easily find every single one of them.

"Getting out and enjoying nature, even if it is just popping across to a small park across the road, is so important to our health and well-being."

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