We are the Friends of Woodhall, Faskine and Palacecraig that come from communities in South Airdrie, North Lanarkshire.
We plan to have a Country/Nature Park on the lands (named above) to make the most of their ENVIRONMENTS. Why? This land is green belt in the local plan and is also protected by the West of Scotland Green Network in 'Clyde Plan' (2017). It has been 'green country' since the ice rolled back over 7,000 years ago. We aim to keep it that way with its ancient woodlands, meadows and hedgerows. It is a rich landscape with its wild flowers. insects and big range of birds. There are also protected mammals, including badgers and otters, plus five species of bat. Active farming helps to maintain the ecosystems and the biodiversity that people of all ages come to enjoy.
Then there is HERITAGE. This land was a cradle of industry with the Monkland Canal being opened here in 1794. Designed by James Watt of steam engine fame, it was followed by a pioneering railway - the Monkland & Kirkintilloch of 1826 - the first anywhere to specify the use of steam locomotives. Other lines followed as iron production soared in the 1850s - the Vulcan, the first iron-hulled vessel was built at Faskine on the canal. For these reasons, we mean to honour our heritage - the boatyard on the canal might be excavated - and interpretation would raise awareness here.
HEALTH is a key issue as North Lanarshire has some of the worst statistics in Western Europe for heart, lung and diabetes problems. Many conditions relate to obesity and lack of exercise. In addition, many people confront mental health issues. Yet it is now widely known that being amid green nature is benficial for both physical and mental wellbeing. Our Country Park would give local GPs the opportunity of prescribing 'the green pill' - to encourage people to walk, jog or cycle from their doorsteps.
"74% OF UK CHILDREN SPEND LESS TIME OUTDOORS THAN THE 60 MINUTES RECOMMENDED FOR PRISON INMATES. LET'S FIX THIS.” Edelman Berland for Unilever, 2016
Outdoor learning improves children’s health, engages them with learning and leads to a greater connection with nature. Play not only teaches critical life skills such as resilience, teamwork and creativity, but is central to children’s enjoyment of childhood. https://outdoorclassroomday.org.uk/ There are at least 25 primary schools and at least 10 high schools in the area who would benefit from using this country park for outdoor learning
Not to mention the nursery facilities in the area. All this would go a long way to repairing the 'disconnect' between young people and nature that is so worrying.
This Country Park would be a major health enhancement for body and mind for adults and especially children - while conserving both the environment, nature and heritage
We want to raise money to pay for land valuator consultants, management consultants and compile planning permission application for a country park.
Help us make this Country Park a reality!'