Open Aye for Nature Scotland, 2012-2013


Open Aye created and facilitated 36 participatory photography workshops for Scottish Natural Heritage.

The workshops were designed to inspire diverse and disadvantaged communities to spend more time outdoors and in parks and nature reserves whilst encouraging creativity through photographing Simple Pleasures on their visits.

There were six groups of participants which included:

  • The Scottish Refugee Council – a group of young refugees.
  • Aberlour Guardianship Project – a ground of young refugees and young ‘survivors’.
  • West of Scotland Regional Equality Council, Renfrewshire Polish Association – a group of Polish immigrants.
  • Glasgow Association of Mental Health – a group in mental health recovery.
  • Comas Serenity Café – a group in recovery from addiction.
  • Govanhill Housing Association, MERG Welfare – a group of local Pakistani residents.

Over the course of the entire project, 72 participants took part in six workshops each, totalling 36 workshops. In total, 24 outdoor spaces were visited including local parks, country parks, regional parks, national parks, nature reserves and Sites of Scientific Interest. Each group visited four parks and nature reserves, many of which were new to the participants, whilst also learning about photography.

By the end of the project, every participant stated that they would visit outdoor spaces more often and each group donated their top Simple Pleasures photos to Scottish Natural Heritage who used the images for promotion. Open Aye also organised an exhibition of the work from the project at the Kelvingrove Museum community space, as well as displaying it at the Scottish Parliament.

This project was funded by Scottish Natural Heritage (now Nature Scotland).

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