Richard Armstrong: What do our Community Path Grants and Patrick Geddes have in common?

Richard Armstrong from our Active Environments team explains how our work shares an ethos with pioneering town planner, Patrick Geddes.

Richard Armstrong delivering community path training

I think it’s a great shame that many people in Scotland don’t know about Patrick Geddes and how some of the ideas he promoted 100 years ago are so relevant to our lives today.

Born in Ballater in 1854, Patrick Geddes was a jack of all trades, a biologist, ecologist, sociologist but most famous for his work as a town planner.

He realised that having good access to greenspaces encouraged people to be active and outdoors and subsequently healthier. He realised that good quality greenspaces improved the look and feel of a place, and that they could provide neighbours with an opportunity to mingle and work together. Therefore, greenspaces became prominent features in many of his town planning projects.

He believed that in order to understand and improve a community, one had to be a part of it. 

These ideas are at the core of Paths for All’s Community Path Grants.

The projects funded through Community Path Grants are identified at a local level by people who are part of a community. The work is carried out by volunteers from the community who work together learning skills from each other and getting to know each other better. 

They are outdoors in the fresh air while carrying out their project and when it’s complete, access to the outdoors is improved making it easier for more people to get outdoors and connect with nature.

Although Paths for All’s Community Paths Grants are relatively small grants,  they can deliver massive social value.

Our grants empower communities to maintain, improve, create or promote path networks. They can also be used to improve habitats and increase biodiversity near paths and get more people in contact with nature more often.

If there are groups who have a desire to improve paths but feel they don’t have the necessary skills or equipment, we can help.

Our Community Path Grants are now open the closing date for applications is the 8th of July 2019. For more information visit our grant information pages.

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