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Children from Lanarkshire primary schools visited the new woodland developed by Forestry Commission Scotland to plant trees and learn about the area to get inspiration for its new name.
Five local primary schools – Aitkenhead, Bothwell, Lawmuir, Sacred Heart and St John the Baptist - are all entering a competition to give the woodland a name.
Close to homes in Bothwell and Fallside, Bothwell Park Road runs through the middle of the new woodland which was vacant and derelict for many years.
Extensive work has been carried out to improve the site including the planting of 20,000 trees, installing new footpaths and improving drainage to make it less muddy. Compost has also been laid from recycled timber and garden waste, helping trees and wild flowers grow.
School children have received talks and escorted visits to the woodland with the Commission’s community ranger team to find out about the site’s industrial heritage and its new plans as a recreational space for local people.
Community engagement ranger, Julie Hamilton comments: “The project is part of our on-going programme to help transform these sites into attractive woodland greenspace for communities to enjoy.
“The schools have been out in all kinds of weather this week - planting trees and finding out more about the site to give them ideas. They’re really excited about the chance of coming up with a new name.”
Gillian Hosie, class teacher from Lawmuir Primary School, commented:
“I'm a class teacher at Lawmuir but also the Eco Co-ordinator so I jumped at the chance to get involved in this brilliant opportunity. We had a great visit to the site with the children - the ranger was incredibly patient and took the time to answer the children's questions. The children learned so much about the woodland.
“We are especially excited about the plan for the outdoor classroom and can't wait to get the children back when it's finished for some outdoor activities.
“The kids are really enthusiastic and we have already chosen our class name. We are looking forward to the announcement to find out if we have won."
Bernice Brady, class teacher at St John the Baptist Primary School, added:
“We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the woodlands – the children and I were amazed at how big the park was, we had no idea all that space was available. The kids loved it and were talking about coming back at the weekend with their bikes. They were excited by all the paths and places to play.
“The ranger was great. The children asked endless questions and he answered them all patiently and said how intelligent their questions were, it was a big boost for them.
“We were out for almost two hours in the pouring rain and not one child complained – they didn’t want to leave. It just shows how much they were enjoying themselves.
“I’m really excited about this project because we try to make much of what we do in school ‘real’, and this is something based on reality. The kids are going to have a little bit of history in their local area and that is really appealing to them. They’ve started coming up with some brilliant names.”
It is hoped that the woodland will become a treasured green space, used by dog walkers, cyclers, families, schools, uniform groups, youth clubs and adult groups from Fallside, Bothwell, Uddingston, Orbiston, Bellshill, Tannochside and Viewpark.
The new name will be unveiled at an official opening event in April and appear on Forestry Commission Scotland signage at various access points surrounding the site.
Notes to Editors
1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government’s Environment & Forestry Directorate www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland
2. For news, events and recreation information log on to www.facebook.com/enjoyscotlandsforests or www.twitter.com/fcscotland
3. The FCS agobair mar bhuidheann-stiùiridhcoilltearachdRiaghaltasna h-Alba agus a’ riaghladhnan 660,000 heactaireanann an OighreachdnaCoilleNàiseanta, a’ dìonadh, a’ cumailsmachd air agus a’ leudachadhnancoillteangusbuannachdan a thoirtdhacoimhearsnachdan, an eaconamaidhagus, agobair an aghaidhatharrachadhgnàth-shìde. www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland
4. Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office 0131 314 6508.