In recent years there has been a clear reduction in the amount of vacant and derelict land being brought back into productive use. This can be attributed to the economic downturn, as businesses have closed and new developments have been delayed.
The ‘greening’ of vacant and derelict land has been acknowledged as a legitimate goal in Scottish Government policies, programmes and funding streams. With this in mind, North Lanarkshire Council identified Bothwell Park, the largest formally recognised derelict site in Lanarkshire, as a potential site for greening.
A steering group was set up to consider options for a greening strategy for this site. This group consisted of North Lanarkshire Council, Forestry Commission Scotland, Forest Enterprise Scotland and CSFT.
The partners explored a number of interests in an around the site, such as soils, contamination, ecology and community development. However, it was decided that access to the site from the surrounding communities was the critical factor that would shape the future development of the site.
Ironside Farrar Ltd was commissioned by the Central Scotland Forest Trust to review the access points to Bothwell Park. This included identifying any potential constraints to different modes of access, recommended any additional infrastructure required to develop entry points and providing budget costs for any proposed access infrastructure.
The project partners were keen to engage the local community in all stages of the site's development. With this in mind, four open consultations were held in January and February 2011 and a questionnaire was conducted to gauge local aspirations for the site. The results of this community consultation were recorded and used alongside the wider study to inform the development of a Forest Design Plan for a new community woodland on the Bothwell site.
Tackling the problem of vacant and derelict land is the central focus of this project. The access study provides proposals for the development of North Lanarkshire's largest derelict site and aims to create a more attractive and beneficial greenspace for community use.
The project engages local residents and landowners, engendering pride in the project and helping to develop a sense of ownership of the local environment.
The project encourages outdoor recreation and active travel through investment in access routes and good quality greenspace.
The access study was funded through the 2010/11 CSGN Development Fund as the project met a number of the key CSGN themes. Specifically actions included: reducing vacant and derelict land, woodland creation, increasing the number of people with access to attractive, safe and well-maintained green space, an improved quality of life and community pride in the communities adjacent to the vacant and derelict land sites, and an extension of Clyde Valley riparian woodlands and wetland habitats.
In 2011, work commenced on creating a community woodland on the Bothwell Park site. Led by the Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) Scottish Lowlands Forest District, this work included decontamination, tree planting and path-building. The CSFT assess study complemented the work of the Forestry Commission and enabled project the partners to prioritise works on establishing an improved access from the community of Fallside
|2010||CSGN Development Fund||3,250|