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Blairbeth Urban Park

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Blairbeth Urban Park

Grantee: South Lanarkshire Council

What are we going to do?

These works will see the transformation of a former private golf course, currently in a derelict state, into a new urban park. It will be the catalyst and centrepiece for a master planning exercise to regenerate the immediate area including new housing and access routes to the wider greenspace of Cathkin Park and the Commonwealth Games cycling facility.

Where did the idea come from?

Following the closure of Blairbeth Golf Club, the site has been vacant. With no positive activity taking place, the site has become a magnet for anti-social behaviour. A study commissioned by South Lanarkshire Council in 2010 also showed a high amount of greenspace deprivation in the areas surrounding the site. The conversion of the site presents a great opportunity to address the proliferation of anti-social behaviour by making the site a desirable area for positive activities and community development. It will also address greenspace deprivation within the surrounding communities. There are other additional advantages, such as improved health outcomes associated with increased access to greenspace.

How communities have helped us develop our ideas

A number of community groups and organisations in the area have all expressed a demand for multi-functional greenspace in this area and are fully supportive of this project and the wide range of benefits it will bring. Local communities will play a big part in the implementation of the project with extensive consultation carried out within all sectors of the community. A ‘Friends of the Park’ group will also be formed which will be responsible for a lot of the on-going park activity and maintenance. Outreach work will be carried out to ensure that groups from all sectors from the community are encouraged to use the park for a range of activities that meet their interests.

How the project fits into the bigger picture

The opening of this greenspace to the public is an exciting and innovative project which will provide over 20 hectares of new, urban, semi-natural, managed greenspace, creating a series of paths and cycle-ways improving accessibility to what was previously private land. The new park will provide a number of facilities, including seating, trim trail and community growing area, and provide a wide range of formal and informal activities and events as well as educational visits for schools and volunteering opportunities. This will enable positive community use and reduce the potential for anti-social behaviour on-site.

The biodiversity of the site will be enhanced by creating a series of natural meadows connected by woodland corridors, attracting back native species that had been driven away during the site’s intensive management as a golf course. The management and maintenance of the wetland area of the site will create an integrated natural habitat, reducing flood risk and creating more natural processes which will allow the watercourse to better support local ecosystems.

How the project will improve the local area

The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) figures for the area surrounding the park are low, with some datazones in the most deprived 5%. Evidence has shown that access to greenspace can have a significant impact on many of the SIMD indicators particularly health, crime and education. In addition to this, we hope that the park will have a positive effect on community cohesion, bringing different sectors of the community together to take part in community activities in a public greenspace. The project also fits well into South Lanarkshire Council’s plans to improve greenspace and EU criteria for the expansion and improvement of green infrastructure in Scotland.