A project which aims to build a new 'green bridge' across the M73, has been awarded a £5,000 bursary from the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) Ideas Fund.
The Green Bridge initiative is focused on creating a habitat and access link across the motorway between Drumpellier Country Park in North Lanarkshire and Commonhead Moss in Glasgow.
The project scooped the top prize in the CSGN challenge which invited three shortlisted projects to make dragons' den style presentations at its annual Forum in front of a panel of experts. A vote by conference delegates crowned the Glasgow Clyde Valley (GCV) Green Network Partnership's Green Bridge concept as the winner of the CSGN Ideas Fund.
The innovative green infrastructure initiative is a key part of the green network for the proposed Seven Lochs Wetland Park. Covering almost 20 sq km on the boundary between Glasgow and North Lanarkshire, the park is destined to become Scotland's largest urban wildlife site and a major new outdoor recreation resource.
The funding from the CSGN Ideas Fund will be used for the planning and feasibility stages of the Green Bridge project, which aims to overcome some of the existing infrastructure barriers faced by the Seven Lochs Wetland Park that currently restrict access for people and prevent the creation of habitat links.
It will also allow the GCV Green Network Partnership to develop an inspiring green bridge design, to create a supportive environment in which the project can evolve and to promote a springboard for developing major new green infrastructure in Scotland.
Scott Ferguson, Development Officer at the GCV Green Network Partnership, said: "The CSGN funding is a great opportunity for us. It will allow us to work with the Glasgow Institute of Architects on a design competition to generate interesting and innovative ideas on how a green bridge could be developed. The green bridge will bring benefits for both people and wildlife, and we also hope it will become a major visitor attraction."
Keith Geddes, Chair of the CSGN Partnership Board, said: "As Europe's largest greenspace initiative, we aim to support organisations in delivering the green network on the ground and the Green Bridge project is an extremely worthy winner of the CSGN Ideas Fund. It will be a significant, innovative and highly visible piece of green infrastructure, helping to create a strong identity for the Seven Lochs Wetland Park and clearly demonstrating Scotland's commitment to a greener future."