Short letter that could be used in the Council Form

(we’ve had a few people ask if they could get a short template type letter they could use in completing their Form to object to the proposed City Development Plan, so here it is below. So be sure to use the Form which you can get along with other info in the tab above called “Proposed City Development Plan” – its worth the hassle to complete!)

Hi Glasgow City Council

I would like housing proposal H023 Sanda St / Kelbourne St / Clouston St to be deleted from the Schedule of Proposals.

I would like the Glasgow Open Space Map to be amened to to show the land at Sanda St / Kelbourne St / Clouston St to be designated as: “6.72 – Natural / Semi-natural greenspace – Open semi-natural”. This reflects the reality that this area of land is a green natural space.

I seek the above amendments for the following reasons:

1. The Sanda St / Kelbourne St / Clouston St area IS a green space, and so it is only logical that it should be designated a green space.

2. It is important to maintain green spaces in the city, especially in areas such as Maryhill where there is high-density housing. The Sanda St / Kelbourne St / Clouston St area has never been built on and has always been an open space of one sort or another. Therefore, it should be preserved. There are plenty of brownfield sites in the city for potential housing developments. A change of use for this space is not justified. It is madness to destroy a green space, which promotes biodiversity and helps to improve air quality and prevent flooding. The council itself states on p34 of the Proposed City Development Plan that it wants to “utilise brownfield sites in preference to greenfield sites”. Good idea.

3. The area around the Sanda St / Kelbourne St / Clouston St green space is already overcrowded. Most of the local accommodation is flats, and so the area is already very densely populated with a great many cars. There isn’t room for 100 more housing units and the extra vehicles they will bring.

4. The Sanda St / Kelbourne St / Clouston St area is an important local amenity. Many people in the area live in flats and don’t have much of a garden. In particular, there is almost no garden space in the Wyndford. The Sanda St / Kelbourne St / Clouston St area provides a green space for local people to relax and socialise, and is an important play area for children.

5. The Sanda St / Kelbourne St / Clouston St area promotes community cohesion and enriches lives. There is a strong community group associated with this area. The group has transformed the area and puts on numerous events that are very well attended by local people. In particular, there are a lot of events for small children. These allow the children to engage with the outdoors in ways that otherwise would not be possible. The area also brings adults together from all social backgrounds, meaning that people in the area know one another. This makes the area safer and more friendly, and promotes a sense of community.

6. The Sanda St / Kelbourne St / Clouston St area provides an opportunity for people to grow their own food in raised bed allotments and learn about environmentally friendly processes such as composting. This helps to alleviate the allotment shortage in Glasgow at a time when the Scottish Government is committed to supporting allotments and ‘grow your own’ spaces. Providing city dwellers with adequate allotment space is important, because allotment use strengthens communities and helps to promote healthy eating in the face of a worsening obesity crisis.

7. The Sanda St / Kelbourne St / Clouston St area has historic significance because it was once playing fields for the local school and because of the investment the local community has made in it, not just over the past five through the North Kelvin Meadow campaign, but before that too. It is one of those quirky, unusual places that makes a city. It is therefore against the council’s own policies to destroy it. According to p51 of the Proposed City Development Plan: “The council is unlikely to support development that would have a negative impact on the historic environment.” Another good idea.

8. Local people are overwhelmingly against the development, as turnout at meetings and signatures on petitions have shown. There has never been a proper consultation with local people. This contravenes the council’s own guidelines as set out in the Proposed City Development Plan. On page 6, it says that: “The Plan has taken into account the comments received from organizations, local communities and individuals in response to the Key Issues and Options set out in the Main Issues Report.” In the the case of the Sanda St / Kelbourne St / Clouston St area this is simply not true.

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Wild Flower Meadow

Information below updated on Sunday 15th June 2014

Temporary Fence

The temporary fence has now been taken down as at Sunday 15th June 2014. We left it up for 8 weeks and while it could have stayed up longer to protect the new meadow grass, its also good to see it back to what it was. We ask no events are done on that space for the rest of the year. Hopefully the grass we’ve used will withstand the use, as it is ideal for flowers too. Eventually we’d like a higher proportion of wild flowers in amongst the grass.

Maryhill Fire Birgade came out Friday 18th April 2014 to water the newly sowed wild flower grass meadow. A big thanks to them as rain wasn’t forecast for a few days. As it happened the kids from Step by Step Nursery were down on the land playing as they rent one of the raised beds there. The fireman gave each of them a turn at directing the hose and making rainbows. Fingers crossed we now get the right weather!! All we do now is wait.

Special thanks and recognition to Gregor for his sterling efforts in manging the meadow flowers and grass over the years. Creating and manging the right habitat that flowers can grow along side grass isn’t as easy as it looks!

The consulation on putting up the temporary fence has ended and given the largly positive feedback we have now gone ahead and put up the temporary fence. Please bear with us while this repair work is carried out to the Meadow. No one wants a fence ofcourse long term, but its needed temporary to help the meadow recover from the increase in use. The plan has been to : put wooden posts up with tape, fork and rake up the muddy parts, spread about two tonnes of fresh compost on the bare parts, sow grass seed thats friendly to a meadow, contact with soil, leave alone, once grass etc rooted and growing remove fence. We’ve gone for 6 different kinds of Meadow Grass (4.2kg) : Common Bent, Creeping Bent, Sweet Vernal Grass, Crested Dog’s Tail, Chewings Fescue and Smooth-Stalked Meadow Grass. In addition we’ve included some wild flower seed (1.2kg) too but we don’t expect all the flowers to last long in the middle part – the point is to reintroduce grass seed thats friendly to a wild flowering meadow. We’ve also repaired small bare parts in other parts of the meadow too. In particular sowing seed around the main entrance from Kelbourne street (although it could do with more flower seed which we may buy or please let us know if you can donate and sow yourself?).

If you have any concerns with this process or what we are doing please do email us or come along to discuss at our weekly Sunday growing sessions (all welcome!) between 2-4pm. We feel its important to keep everyone on side while this work happens (by the way we need help doing it, so if you have spare time then come and get involved……get some exercise, fresh air, do some good and learn how to manage a Meadow :)

We ask that no events are stationed on that part this year to give it a breather.

All this work above brings up a good question on what kind of organization does the local community want to manage North Kelvin Meadow? There needs to be one that makes sure all interested parties are given a say whether thats: Dog Walkers, Children, Allotment people, Compost people, picnic people, local residents and so on? Over the last 6 years this website has tried to do that but to get us over the line with the Council it may well need to be on a more formal footing to show it has named representatives from the various groups that use the land? What do you think?

The five bare patches.
You’ll see on the far side of the meadow there has been 5 new meadow patches created. These were planted up on Friday 4th April 2014 with about 23 different kinds of Wild Flower Meadow seed. Mostly Perenials but a few Annuals too. The process has been as pervious years: turn turf over, rake up and sow seed ensuring good contact. The strategy is to concentrate on that far side as it doesn’t get so much foot or paw fall. It will also provide a good length of colour along one whole side. The shape (a long length, but with gaps to allow natural paths) also means the flower seed has maximum chance to cultivate the rest of the meadow. A few examples of the 23 kinds of seed are: Meadow Cransbill, Selfheal, Bush Vetch, Cornflower, Corn Poppy, Meadow Buttercup, Lady Bedstraw, Ribwort Plantain and Ox-eye Daisy. We’ll be planting Yellow Rattle in Sept / Oct on the fringes of these patches as that specie is important for meadows.
This all takes money I’m afriad. All the work is done by local volunteers from our community and we’ve tried to get items as cheap as we can. The Meadow seed for example for much of the above came to £245. But we’ll probably buy more, and then there is all the bulbs to meet our 1,000 bulb challenge. The list goes on……

Anyway if you can donate please do. We are currently overdrawn by more than £-500!

Bank Account Name: North Kelvin Meadow Campaign, Bank Account: 00174585 Sort Code: 82-64-26
Cheques made payble to: North Kelvin Meadow Campaign (email us at northkelvinmeadow@gmail.com to ask for postal address)

We are a registered Scottish charity number SC041346

We would appreciate anyone telling us whether this is the closest large scale Wild Flowering Meadow to Glasgow city centre? The land is 1.4 hectares although some of that is woodland.

Composting - On a different but important topic we could do with more people that want to get involved in our Composting Group. Please do email in to northkelvinmeadow@gmail.com to let us know if composting is something your interested in and we’ll put you in touch with Neil who manages this group? Composting is a little more difficult than one thinks when done as a community. So its good for us all “to talk” on this one! Special thanks to Elspeth and Keith who have been helping with the stirring rota. At the moment they are trying to reduce the number of flies in the composters by adding a layer of carbon (paper, leaves, grass) or finished compost to cover all fresh fruit and veg waste.

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The 1,000 Bulb Challenge, a question on a temporay fence and Growing North Kelvin Meadow

The 1,000 Bulb Challenge!
Let’s see if we can plant 1000 bulbs from March to May 2014 – that means now!
1. Your invited to come along to our new “Growing Sunday afternoon sessions” at 2pm when we’ll be planting bulbs , along with other activities. To start this off we’ve bought 140 bulbs ready for you to plant now.
2. Or please feel free to plant some bulbs yourself at other times. If unsure what to do etc then just ask us.

How to Plant a Bulb:
• Plant Bulbs to a depth of roughly 3 times their size. Squirrels can dig them up if shallower than that.
• Plant bulbs facing up , if not sure plant on their sides.
• How about some Tulips in the Meadow part and Bluebells or Snow drops under the trees along Clouston Street (soil is very good there) and in The Children Wood. But feel free to choose what bulbs you like and where (native ones only though). Near the entrances would be another good place.

Community consultation i.e. a question for you.
The issue: this last two years the middle part of the Meadow has got quite muddy. It’s been a mixture of more use and some of the events that have been staged on that part. Basically it’s not had a chance to recover.

The recommendation: we’d like to plant wild flower meadow grass seed on that muddy area and the advice we’ve been given is for the first6 weeks after the seed is put down the area should be fenced off.
Four important points:
1. Only grass seed that is friendly to wild flowers will be sowed, it will have a little wild flower seed mixed in. Other kinds of grass seed would destroy the flowers we have (not all grass seed is the same, many kinds outcompete flowers).
2. The fence would only be in a small area and it’s expected to simply be a few wooded poles with one or two lengths of string between. More to stop humans walking on it.
3. The fence would only be temporary, probably for 6 weeks. Everyone agrees they don’t want things fenced off and so this would be a temporary exception to that principle.
4. Note we may fence off a smaller area and then6 weeks later move the fence and sow again. This will free up more area at any one time. However we need to sow before it become too dry.

This is your chance to give feedback on the above. So what do you think? Please email northkelvinmeadow@gmail.com Due to the time of year we are keen to get started on this soon, assuming people don’t object. Dated 12th March 2014

Growing North Kelvin Meadow
We’ve kicked off a dedicated group to considerate on all things “community growing”. It’s got its own facebook page called Growing North Kelvin Meadow (bet you guessed that! :)
• We’ll meet every Sunday at 2pm on the Meadow.
• We’ll be building a new Community Raised Bed (s), so if your into growing vegetables this is for you.
• We’ll tend and expand the Orchard along the fence line at Kelbourne street side, plant bulbs, wild flowers, help Bumble bees and other routine maintenance to help the land flourish.

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Growing North Kelvin Meadow

Have you spotted the ferns that have recently arrived in the Meadow? They traveled all the way from Govan’s Graving Docks – an old ship repair and fitting facility on the South side of Glasgow. Work stopped there in 1988, and since then nature has slowly claimed the dockland as an urban wilderness. New City Vision Ltd now owns the site, and they are seeking approval for plans to develop a housing and commercial complex there. To make headway with their regeneration plans, they have plans to raze the urban ecology that has flourished there.

In the meantime, a precious few ferns and other plants have been transported to the Meadow via bicycles pedaled across town by Ruth Olden and Erin Despard—two researchers in the geography department at the University of Glasgow who also live in the area. Shortly before Christmas, in the course of Ruth’s doctoral research at the docks, Ruth and Erin came up with a plan to transplant some ferns to the North Kelvin Meadow. This was conceived in part as a rescue mission, but also as a giving of gifts from one so-called ‘wasteland’ to another. The plants were shortly to be without a home, but at the same time, the Meadow could benefit from a contribution to its biodiversity (however small in size, and coloured by wishful thinking). Before the transfer, there were only a few ferns to be found amongst the trees (and none of the species we moved)—and what is a wood without ferns?

The challenge of finding appropriate locations for the ferns made the legacy of the meadow’s past life apparent: in most places, the layer of top soil over gravelly clay is quite thin yet. Left to its own devices, it seems it will be a while still before the meadow and children’s wood can welcome a greater variety of plant species. This led us to wonder what it would take for the community to cultivate a more hospitable soil for newcomers such as these. What kinds of tending might be imagined – similar to those of the vegetable plots and the orchard, but in the wood itself? We invite you to search out the ferns and encourage them, and perhaps think of the ways in which we might make their reproduction, and the arrival of other woodland plants more likely in the future.

By Ruth Olden and Erin Despard
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Here’s a question: What growing would you like to happen on North Kelvin Meadow?
Please reply to: northkelvinmeadow@gmail.com

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Its been 5 Years!

The offical campaign to save the land was started back in October 2008. Few campaigns get off the ground, even fewer get past that initial flurry of interest, so for this one to still be going after 5 years is an achievement many in this community should be proud of. Indeed its not just going but gaining momentum as well!

It all started after the Council hired the local scout hall and put up 4 designs of flats it wanted the land to be sold for back in early 2008. There was no option other than for it to be sold off for the same number of flats – it was just the style of the flats they were willing to consider. There was no one from the Council there that afternoon, just a representative from the architects who didn’t know much about how someone was to voice their concerns to the Council.

Seeing so many people dismayed and appalled at having no alternative put to them, a local resident, Douglas A Peacock, hand delivered to 540 local flats a questionnaire asking them what they wanted to happen to the land. Eight-five people responded to the questionnaire. ALL the respondents were against selling the land for flats. The results were sent to the Council, which rejected the findings out of hand as they wanted the revenue from the sale. In those early days of 2008 we didn’t know much about how the council works etc, it just seamed the wrong thing to do to sell this community land off for housing. It was only later did we find out what we were doing was in line with Council and National Policy and what a few people in the Council were doing was actually against these policies! It was a back room style decision taken by just a few people with no consultation to those it would affect. Even now 5 years later there is still no Business Case document people can refer to on the reasons for selling it off. In the years that followed others in the Council then found themselves having to defend the indefensible.

Two things started to happen:
1. the campaign took off and went from strength to strength, even when the Council took two locals to Court.
2. local people looked after the land, rubbish was cleared, bulbs planted. We did have an advantage though – Mother nature (at no cost we should add) just got on and did her thing – the land blossomed!

As the years go by the North Kelvin Meadow goes from strength to strength. A year ago the Children Wood group started – an inspiring initiative that gets loads of kids using the land. Their experience and what theses kids have learned on the land is just priceless.

If you want to see for yourself then check out the events schedule or just come down and have a wander.
We’re a “wild green community space in the heart of Glasgow” People love it, and we hope the people that make the decisions in Glasgow City Council will one day love it too!

Its been 5 years, surely someone in Glasgow City Council can stand up and say enough is enough and abandon these plans to sell it off?

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West End Festival Programme

The North Kelvin Meadow and The Children Wood are part of the West End Festival this year. First event is our Gala which is on Sunday 2nd June 2013 between 10am – 4pm. If you can help out during these events do let us know and ofcourse please do come and just enjoy whats on!

Update after the event: What a great day! Difficult to know how many people but it was something like 700 or so. Very family friendly, a great vibe and once again shows the land of to so many. Its really quite unique.

Gala June 2013 Programme

Some of the jobs we need volunteers for:
1. “Dog stewards” – this will involved directing people with dogs to the Dog V.I.P area and help show people where to go for the Dog show. Ideally someone dog friendly.
2. A strong person (or two) to help with Wheelbarrow rides for children. We need a few people to share the load, possibly doing short slots each.
3. Face painting
4. Welcoming people at the entrance – letting people know what’s on and where, possibly handing out a programme or flyer
5. HOME BAKING! – which we’ll sell to help to cover the costs of the day. Always needed, always goes down well! :)
6. Help with the Gala Tent Programme – this will involve supporting a smooth tent schedule.
7. Make bunting – we’ll need this before Thursday 30th
8. Setting things up and taking things away e.g tables, tarp, rubbish etc

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Observer Ethical Awards nomination

We are delighted to learn today that Emily Cutts of the Children’s Wood and Douglas Peacock of the North Kelvin Meadow Campaign have been jointly short-listed in the Observer newspaper’s Ethical Awards “unsung local hero” category. This is a shortlist of around 5 out of 300 entries nationwide. It is a very welcome recognition of all the hard work they have put in. They have of course immediately said that it is a team effort by the whole community, and so it is, but Emily and Douglas have by far the strongest vision and perseverance of us all.

If you are new to this site, please take a look around. Visit our Facebook page for the latest details and gossip.

The nation’s “unsung local hero” will be chosen from the shortlist by popular vote from now to 24th May. To vote for Emily and Douglas, please follow this link below:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/observer-ethical-awards/unsung-local-hero-shortlist

The land is subject to a live planning application, which may come before the Planning Committee in the next few weeks. Glasgow City Council want to sell it to a private property developer for 90 luxury flats. If you think this green oasis should be saved, the simplest and fastest action is to sign our petition below:

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/the-scottish-government-stop-glasgow-city-council-building-on-north-kelvin-meadow-children-s-wood

Please share this petition with your friends. If you would like to do more then please follow the link in the above tab entitled ” Support us – Planning application – Phase 2″ Thank you for any support you can give us. This land is too precious to be built on and once its gone its gone forever.

Here’s a short film shot at the last Halloween event in Oct 2012 which helps to sum up whats there:

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