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Upgrading the gateway visitor centre to Queen Elizabeth Forest Park after 50 years of solid service might seem like a daunting task – but not for the team at Forestry Commission Scotland.
Phase II of the make-over, where the Lodge itself will be upgraded, is scheduled for the autumn and winter of this year but the phase I groundworks are already complete. Finished 4 weeks ahead of schedule, the early sign-off was thanks to the recent spell of good weather – and the efforts of lead contractors, Robertson, the infrastructure, support services and construction group.
Liz Shortall, Community, Recreation and Tourism Manager said:
“After 50 years of service the Lodge needs a bit of reinvigoration if it is to continue to hold it’s own in the modern tourism sector. We’re aiming to make this a 5-star attraction that will welcome thousands more visitors each year and be at the head of the list of ‘must see’ attractions in the area.
“A major part of that has involved creating a bigger car park, providing separate access routes for service vehicles and pedestrians and making the forest more accessible to all visitors.
“It’s a major undertaking anywhere but to have achieved this on such a sensitive site with minimal impact is exciting!”
Robertson is part of the ‘Considerate Constructors’ scheme, a construction industry initiative that aims to promote best practice beyond statutory requirements and improve the industry’s image.
Companies and sites are monitored against a set of criteria that cover the general public, the workforce and the environment.
Regional Operations Director of Robertson Bob Gray said:
“David Marshall Lodge is obviously a well-loved and sensitive environment so managing the work responsibly, efficiently and sensitively - with the absolute minimum of environmental impact - was hugely important.
“We’ve managed to achieve this and we are confident that because of our approach, the new-look site will soon seem like it’s been laid out like this for years.”
The groundworks have been completed in time for the Easter programme of events at the Lodge and visitors can still drop in for lunch, morning coffee and afternoon tea, visit the wildlife hide and take advantage of the wide range of recreation facilities on offer.
You can keep up with the latest redevelopment news via our Twitter account ( @DMLaberfoyle ) and our blog ( dmlodge.blogspot.co.uk ).
You can also find out more – including our responses to feedback and comments from the public – at our web pages http://www.forestry.gov.uk/thelodge
Notes to Editors
1) Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government’s Environment & Forestry Directorate.
2) Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0131 314 6507