A long term plan to conserve and enhance the natural heritage of our local green spaces has been unveiled for Greenhall and Milheugh.
The plans sets out for people to enjoy the park, improve access and community paths and ultimately to make Greenhall and Milheugh an official local nature reserve that generations of Blantyre people should be able to enjoy.
South Lanarkshire Council working with the Forresty Commission and Friends of the Calder Group seek to upgrade the network of paths, reinstate the bridge at Milheugh (Calder falls) and formalise wayleaves and routes by a series of marker posts, information signs and boards. The plan seeks to improve drainage, attend to flood prevention and protect paths from further erosion.
Within the plan, some people may be surprised to know that almost 3 hectares of the woodland at Greenhall is to be felled and cleared, with timber extracted out the park from the area at the roadside within the park, down to the riverside. Whilst this sounds drastic, it is recognised that many of the tall conifers are storm damaged and being so tall, are preventing the growth of other more permanent species of trees and flora nearer the ground. The plan will see the removal of those tall conifers, making the area safe and undertaking an extensive programme of replanting with mixed broadleave trees, which will give the woodland a long term stability. This is not a council plan to raise money for other causes. The idea is that any money raised from the sale of timber or bark chippings, will go BACK into the area in an extensive programme of improvement. Over 70Km of new and replacement paths and reinstating another 2.5km of existing paths should greatly improve visitor enjoyment of the site, even if some of the route will be in young woodland. New species planted should thrive and grow fast without the current shade of upper canopies.
Other plans are underway to address invasive species, reduce the threat of fly tipping and deal with vandalism and litter.
Any concerns people have, can be put to the team when the public is invited to come along to a walk at Greenhall at 7pm on Tuesday 7th June 2016.
The purpose of this walk is to discuss with representatives of the Central Scotland Green Network trust (Linda McConaghie and Simon Stuart) the proposed work required to improve and regenerate the parks. Linda and Simon are helping SLC with the main funding application under the Forestry Commission’s Woodlands in and around Towns scheme (WIAT). Plans are attached for those wanting to know more.
We’ll be keeping you posted as we learn more, but one thing is for certain, the area of Greenhall and Milheugh is heading towards change.