Gartloch Gartcosh forms a significant area of green belt between the urban areas of Millerston and Easterhouse in Glasgow, and Stepps, Glenboig and Coatbridge in North Lanarkshire. The area includes a number of significant natural heritage assets. These include two Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), Drumpellier Country Park, five local nature reserves and an array of locally protected lochs, wetlands and woodlands. The area is also home to a number of cultural heritage sites, including Iron Age crannogs, Provan Hall (now Glasgow's oldest surviving building) and the archaeological site of Bishop's Palace.
Despite their proximity to natural and cultural heritage sites, the communities surrounding Gartloch Gartcosh have been identified as areas of multiple deprivation. Both Glasgow City and North Lanarkshire councils have sought to address the issues associated with deprivation through programmes of regeneration. These programmes focus on housing renewal and socio-economic development. However, the councils also recognise the need to protect and enhance the natural and cultural heritage assets of the area as part of the regeneration process.
Working with GCVGNP, Glasgow City and North Lanarkshire Councils formed the Gartloch Gartcosh Strategic Delivery Partnership (SDP). In 2008 they commissioned the development of a Gartloch Gartcosh Green Network Strategy, which set out a framework for developing a high quality Green Network within the Gartloch Gartcosh area. At the heart of this Green Network Strategy was a proposal to create a new wetland park of national significance with links to a wider network of green spaces.
Following on from the development of the Green Network Strategy, GCVGNP joined the Sigma for Water project. This EU Interreg IVC project encourages the development of new lakes and wetland areas, and seeks to increase water quality and the flexibility of water systems. Joining the Sigma for Water project provided an opportunity to develop a detailed vision and masterplan for the Gartloch Gartcosh area and, in 2010, a Site Selection and Development Guidance study (2010) was commissioned. This study examined the landscape, ecology and water management of the area, and made recommendations on opportunities to maximize its Green Network potential.
In October 2010 the Gartloch Gartcosh SDP commissioned Collective Architecture to devise a Vision and Masterplan for the Gartloch Gartcosh area. This was to include detailed proposals and a costed action plan for the creation and management of a wetland park.
A consultation draft was published in September 2011. It examined the spatial, heritage and planning context for the park, and set out proposals for:
Alongside the Vision and Masterplan, a Project Development Report examined the social context for the park and identified key socio-economic priorities. It also made recommendations on structures and funding sources.
From September 2011 to February 2012 a communication and stakeholder engagement project sought to gather feedback on the consultation draft from a wide range of stakeholders. These included agencies, voluntary sector organisations, community groups and landowners. Almost 200 people were sent information about the proposed park, a dedicated consultation website was created, and meetings and consultation events were held. A second consultation, focussing specifically on the park boundary and targeting landowners and developers was carried out between August and November 2012.
The consultation process indicated that stakeholders were positive about the Vision and Masterplan for the Gartloch Gartcosh area. Nevertheless, a number of concerns were identified. The principal concern was the balance between conservation and development, and the crucial link between the creation and development of the Seven Lochs Wetland Park and the restoration and enhancement of the medieval buildings at Provan Hall. Another issue identified in consultation was the need for the wetland park to have a 'porous boundary', with green networks extending from the park into surrounding communities. These links would support both urban greening and community engagement with the park.
Taking into consideration the views expressed in the consultation process, a revised draft was developed. This was issued to the project partners for comment in December 2012 and a final draft Vision and Masterplan was published in March 2013.
Building on the success of the stakeholder engagement project, a Seven Lochs Community Engagement Officer post was created to lead and develop volunteering, training and community participation activity.
The Vision and Masterplan provides a clear strategy and solid platform for the creation and development of a new wetland park that seeks to:
As a result of the consultation process, communication links with landowners and developers were established. This enabled early dialogue and information sharing on the relationship between development and the protection and enhancement of green networks. The consultation process also served to increase awareness of the Vision and Masterplan amongst a wide range of agencies, voluntary sector organisations, community groups and landowners.
The Seven Lochs Wetland Park vision and masterplan (consultation draft) received a silver award in the 'masterplanning' category of the Roses Design Awards 2011.
At almost 20 sq km the Seven Lochs Wetland Park will be the largest urban nature park in Scotland, easily accessible by road and rail to people across the central belt. The Seven Lochs Wetland Park can help develop and demonstrate best practice in:
The recommendations made in the Vision and Masterplan have been carried forward and in April 2013, Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network Partnership was awarded £46,215 from the CSGN Development Fund (CSGN616). As a result of this funding, physical improvements will start to take shape on the ground, along with the development of new volunteering, social enterprise, employment and skills training opportunities. Physical improvements are likely to include lowland raised bog restoration, woodland and tree planting and management, improvements to local path networks, new wetland habitat creation, and the environmental enhancement of vacant and derelict land.
In June 2013, the GCVGNP secured further funding from the CSGN Ideas fund. This funding will be used to bring together key stakeholders to develop plans for, and assess the feasibility of, a new 'green bridge' across the M73. The bridge will create a habitat and access link across the motorway between Drumpellier Country Park in North Lanarkshire Council and Commonhead Moss in Glasgow City, and is a key part of the proposed Seven Lochs Wetland Park.
Preparation of the Vision and Masterplan has also supported successful funding applications to Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Rural Development Programme, Creative Scotland and SEPA.
A new study is being undertaken to develop detailed green network / green infrastructure plans for two areas within the wetland park. These plans focus on integrating existing communities and new developments into the wetland park. They will support and inform the integration of multi-functional green infrastructure and innovative surface water management / Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems into masterplans for the new development.
In 2015, GCVGNP was awarded £24,950 to develop an integrated green infrastructure plan for the Greater Easterhouse Strategic Development Framework. This brought together GCVGNP, GCC and TCV Scotland to develop a strategy for an improved network of green spaces and green infrastructure linked to ongoing regeneration and planned new housing development in Greater Easterhouse.
A five-year plan was developed which focuses on greening over 180ha of vacant and derelict land, improving greenspace and woodland in deprived communities, identifying new green routes for walking and cycling and addressing surface water management to reduce flood risk. As part of this work, principal activities were to use spatial analysis to identify opportunities and locations for new integrated green infrastructure as part of a high quality, multi-functional green network across Greater Easterhouse.
The plan includes design development and costings for new and enhanced green infrastructure at key sites and a funding strategy has been developed to support the plan.
|2010||CSGN Development Fund||40,000|
|2011||CSGN Development Fund||27,800|
|2012||CSGN Development Fund||36,500|
|2013||CSGN Development Fund||46,215|
|2015||CSGN Development Fund||24,950|
|2013||CSGN Ideas Fund||5,000|