Dalrymple, Skeldon and Hollybush Steering Group

Winner of the Scotland Loves Local Climate and Net Zero Award 2023

The creation of an environment-enhancing wetland reserve in East Ayrshire has won a top prize for boosting its community and tackling the climate emergency.

Dalrymple, Skeldon and Hollybush Steering Group were awarded the Climate and Net Zero Award at the 2023 Scotland Loves Local Awards.

Judges heard how fields on the edge of Dalrymple had been transformed into a mosaic of wetland woodland, meadow and ponds – enhancing biodiversity and creating a recreational and educational asset.

A nomination added: “ The activity has made an important contribution to addressing climate change impacts, land use and the biodiversity crisis. 

“This project has had a truly transformative effect. It has created an attractive place for leisure and recreation which meets the needs of users, supporting biodiversity and accessibility. It has helped to restore civic pride in this community which has always had a strong sense of identity.

“In empowering local community groups, it has given them a stake in the decision-making process and as a result, many new volunteers have come forward to work on this and future projects.”


Gauchalland East Community Gardens

Gauchalland East Community Gardens in Galston is a project carried out by the local Tenants’ and Residents’ Association who have created Community Gardens within Galston. The gardens are a well-used resource that help to bring people together which in turn helps to break social isolation along with improving the communities’ mental health. 

The group have helped to improve an unused piece of land which has multiple community benefits for the community of Galston. Gauchalland East Community Gardens grow their own fruit and veg within the community gardens which provides its members with adult education opportunities within the community as well as the opportunity to share skills and assets with one another. 

The group also helps to provide a community space for the wider community to use which has seen community groups use it for group work activities as well as using the area as a warm space utilising the log burner within the gardens. This community initiative also provides a community larder which sells fruit and vegetables that are grown within the gardens as well as offering a range of products at a reduced rate than the supermarkets. Profits from the community shop are used to fund the gardens as well as other community initiatives within the area through community grants. 

Ibrox Commons, Glasgow

The project has been developed by Galgael on former ‘wasteland’ bordering Galgael’s own garden at their workshop in Govan – one of the poorest areas in Scotland.  

At its heart Galgael is a working community and heritage charity – predominantly led by volunteers. For more than 20 years Galgael has provided practical programmes supporting marginalised and disadvantaged groups, emphasising community, respect and dignity. Community engagement has never been a tickbox exercise for Galgael – it is part of the warp and weft of the fabric.

Ibrox Commons has been developed in response to an expressed need within the local community for a safe communal space for food growing and outdoor community interaction, learning and skills development. Over the last two years the neglected and underused site  has been transformed into an accessible and welcoming sanctuary.  Partnership working with Maslows Community Shop and the Govan Community Project has helped to build and maintain raised beds for individuals and households and provided several shared skills sessions on food growing and related topics.

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