We moved to Glasgow from Hastings in August this year and I started the exhausting job of looking for a flat to buy while we stay in rented accommodation. I arranged to view one in North Kelvinside and as I looked at the street view on line I could see that there was some abandonded looking ground behind a fence taking up a large part of the street. Right away I imagined problems with drugs, feeling unsafe at night walking past the area and not wanting my son to play there. We were early when we went to view the flat so sneaked through a gap in the fence and were delighted to discover we had stumbled upon the North Kelvin Meadow and Children’s Wood. I had become friends with them on Facebook a few months previously when I was researching community green spaces in Glasgow and had signed the petition to save this area as there are proposals to build new flats here. My son had fun running around while we admired all the hard work that has been done to improve the place including tree houses, raised beds for vegetable growing, colourful decorations and signage.
I couldn’t wait to go to the next event they were holding The Bake Outdoors with a huge list of activities and entertainment the whole family would enjoy. I met Emily Cutts who has been a driving force of the transformation of the children’s wood and was nominated and shortlisted along with Douglas Peacock of the North Kelvin Meadow Campaign in the Observer newspaper’s Ethical Awards “unsung local hero” category. Emily was running around sorting out tables for the baking competition and a million other things needing to be done, all with a smile.
Glasgow, known as The Dear Green Place, is not short of parks. It’s possible to cycle through most of the West End without having to go near a road. Play parks have improved a lot since I was a child when you just hoped you wouldn’t land on the broken glass strewn concrete ground. But children have a completely different experience when they are allowed to roam free in a wild space. My son can be entertained for hours with everything the natural world provides that is FREE; and his imagination. Children don’t need experts to tell them this is their natural environment, they just feel at home.
We had such a lovely day at the Bake Outdoors. My husband bumped into an old friend from college, I bought a handmade Christmas decoration, bath bomb and homemade cakes. We had spicy lamb burgers cooked on a barbecue and cooked our own cheese patties on an open fire. My son cooked up a big mud pie. At a time when jobs are insecure and people are disillusioned with our money driven society, having a place like this where everyone can contribute, whatever skills and experience they have, really benefits communities by boosting everyone’s feelings of self worth.
I'm looking forward to seeing the meadow lit up with fairy lights at Halloween. I hope my pictures have captured some of the magic that happens here. The children know it; some adults still need convincing.
Sign the petition: The Scottish Government:Stop Glasgow City Council building on North Kelvin Meadow / Children’s Wood.