Green Belts Campaign

Blairforkie, Stirling Credit - Save Blairforkie Greenspace

Green Belts Alliance

Blairforkie, Stirling: Credit Save Blairforkie Greenspace

APRS have been campaigning on Green Belts for over 90 years and we are still working to uphold and strengthen the protection of these vital spaces around our cities for nature and for people.

What is the Green Belts Alliance?

APRS support groups and individuals campaigning to protect their green belt through our APRS Green Belts Alliance. We create guidance, campaign, meet as a network and have a regular email newsletter on issues of interest. Join the Green Belts Alliance to get involved and help protect your local green belt!

What is a green belt?

A green belt is a designated area of open land which is around, beside, or in an urban area. In a green belt, there is a presumption against development apart from specific uses, particularly for agricultural or renewable energy purposes. Scotland has 11 green belts designated by 21 local authorities.

Green belts have many benefits. Their primary purpose is to ensure that urban growth is compact and that land around towns and cities is used sustainably. They can also give space to nature, enhance biodiversity, and provide green areas to benefit the physical and mental wellbeing of the local community.

However, green belts are often under threat of erosion and unsustainable development. These resources are designed to help individuals and communities protect their local green belt.

Selected Resources on Green Belts and Planning

Is your green belt under threat from unsustainable development? APRS have prepared several resources to help you navigate the planning system and protect your green belt!

The new National Planning Framework (NPF4) section on Greenbelts is vital reading as the NPF4 Policies now form part of every Local Development Plan and so they are to be considered in every planning application.

  • NPF4 Green Belt Policies

    This is an extract from the Scottish Government’s National Planning Framework 4, Part 2 – National Planning Policy. It is the section of policies related to Green Belt. You can read the whole NPF4 online

  • Advice Note on the Planning System

    We regularly give advice on various topics relating to our work and objectives and also respond to many enquiries from our members and the general public. This document provides general information on the Planning System

  • Planning Case Studies 2009-2014

    These Case Studies provide examples of cases where we have provided advice and help local communities engage with landscape change in their areas.. They provide an insight into the type of work we do.

  • Planning Resources

    This resource provides information on strategic and local planning across Scotland and gives links to the websites containing planning information for particular areas.

See all our resources on planning

Help finding your local green belt

This green belt map produced by The Spatial Hub shows, among other things, green belts. Try checking ‘green belts’ in the map layers to see the green belts in your local area.

If you would like to see the green belts of each local authority we have created a green belt map from the information in the Spatial Hub. These were created in 2020 so for the most up to date information please use the spatial hub.

Latest News on Green Belts


We have teamed up with Planning Democracy to run a series of four webinars on different aspects of the new National Planning Framework 4 and the planning system.


APRS’s campaigning has lead to some key improvements for green belt protection in the latest planning law. In this blog Nikki Sinclair, our Green Belts Alliance Manager explains what the new planning framework means for communities campaigning on planning and for protection of green belts.

Useful Resources

There are some incredible resources available to help campaigners with planning

Planning Democracy

Planning Democracy has a whole set of resources for communities and individuals looking to

RSPB Scotland

RSPB Scotland has a webpage of useful information for people wanting to get involved in planning issues, this includes general information about the planning system, how to run a campaign and specific guidance for example protecting birds and wildlife, trees and woodland, and addressing climate change.

Local Place Plans Guidance

The Our Place website is devoted to promoting the benefits of place and place-based working, they have some guidance on Local Place Plans. You can see all their resources here

Join The Green Belts Alliance


More about Green Belts


Why are green belts so vital in a climate and nature emergency? Nikki Sinclair explains.

What is a Green Belt? A Green Belt is the designated open land around, beside or within an urban area

APRS have been campaigning on planning issues for nearly a century, since we formed in 1926. Our campaign to create Scotland’s first planning system and green belts was achieved in the 30s and 40s, and we have supported groups to protect their greenbelts and engage with the planning system ever since.

Help us protect Green Belts

To support us to extend our support for communities working to protect their countryside please donate to our new appeal.

donate here

Our Green Belt Campaigning

We support the presumption against development on designated Green Belt land and believe that permission for any development of Green Belt  should only be given in exceptional circumstances. Such planning decisions  should be democratically arrived at, through the Local Development Plan  process, rather than via speculative applications.

Over the years we have produced hundreds of submissions, briefings and consultation responses in our work campaigning to protect and enhance green belts. Here are a few of the latest.

Please see new learning resources for more National Park worksheets and activities for use in the classroom or at home.

APRS gratefully acknowledges the funding which Awards for All has provided towards this project.

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