May 1, 2012

Glasgow Tree Hub Project

Glasgow City
Greenspace for Learning & Play, Recreation & Active Travel
CSGN Development Fund
Brian Atkinson
Lead Partners:
Friends of Glasgow Botanic Gardens


Scotland has a rich and diverse arboreal legacy. This reflects the role that individual landowners and botanist have played over the centuries, collecting and planting specimen trees from around the globe. However, few people know about this legacy and, as a result, Scotland's world class tree collections are undervalued.

The arboretum at Glasgow Botanic Gardens provides an important habitat for wildlife in the heart of Scotland's largest city. It consists of many native and exotic tree species including an area of plants introduced by the famous 19th Century plant collector David Douglas. However, there is a general lack of awareness about the arboretum and, as a result, it receives fewer visitors than other areas of the Botanic Gardens.

Project background

In 2012, the Friends of Glasgow Botanic Gardens were awarded £27,720 to develop a project plan for the use of tree collection at the Botanic Gardens as a hub in Scotland's National Tree Collections and how this hub and collections out with the Gardens can be developed to 'Connect People with Trees' as part of a wider education strategy.

In 2013, the Friends of Glasgow Botanic Gardens received a further £133,371 to create a new 'tree hub' in Glasgow Botanic Gardens that will serve as a gateway to Scotland's National Tree Collections. A new, all abilities 'tree trail' through the gardens will also be delivered with interpretation panels and QR information for all visitors. In addition, new written and web materials will be produced to promote the tree collections to a wide audience, in particular schools and local communities. A programme of outreach will also be undertaken to promote the tree collections across the CSGN area (and beyond) as part of a wider education strategy.

How the project was delivered

A project steering group was formed consisting of representatives from Glasgow Botanic Gardens, the Friends of Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Forestry Commission Scotland, Glasgow City Council and the National Tree Collection Scotland. Together they commissioned Ross Associates to develop costed proposals for the creation of a Tree Hub and Tree Trail.

A visitor survey was conducted to gauge public perceptions of the Botanic Gardens. The results of this survey indicated that there was a desire amongst the general public to learn more about the plant and tree collections within the Gardens. Further consultations, including an onsite workshop and meetings with key stakeholders, sought to gather feedback on the design proposals for the Tree Hub and Tree Trail. These consultations revealed enthusiastic support for the project and its location at the Glasgow Botanic Garden.

Project outcomes

The initial stage of this project has resulted in the production of costed design proposals for the creation of a Tree Hub and Tree Trail at the Glasgow Botanic Gardens. If fully implemented this project will:

Increase awareness and understanding of Scotland's tree collectionsIncrease visitor numbers to the Botanic Garden and arboretum, thus benefiting local businessesFurther develop the Gardens as a community greenspace for outdoor recreation in the heart of Scotland's largest urban centreLink the Botanic Gardens to the Kelvin Walkway, thus promoting active travelEncourage the use of the Gardens as an education resource, supplementing the role of the Gardens' Educational Office in her work with local schools.

CSGN Support and Learning

Supported by the CSGN Development Fund, this project seeks to reconnect the people of Glasgow to Scotland's arboreal legacy. In doing so it aims to promote the Glasgow Botanic Garden and its arboretum as a shared community greenspace for recreation, education and active travel.

Future development of project

Planning permission for the delivery of this project was granted in 2013 and a second round of funding was secured from the CSGN for the creation of an all abilities 'tree trail' with engaging interpretation panels. New written and web materials will also be produced to promote the tree collections to a wide audience, including schools and local communities groups.

Funding Details:

Year Fund Value
2012 CSGN Development Fund 27,120
2013 CSGN Development Fund 133,371


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