The North Kelvin Meadow is a community group set up on 13 October 2008 to manage the green space between Clouston Street , Sanda Street and Kelbourne Street (G20 – North Kelvin Ward within Glasgow, Scotland).
We manage 1.4 hectares of meadow and woodland (500 trees) in the heart of Glasgow. Also within this land which we mange is: a community orchard of 30 fruit trees, 2 tree houses, 2 mud kitchens for young kids, 3 compost bins (including the big wooden Number 1 in the far Kelbourne street corner thats awaiting your compost material) , an Elves and Fairy corner in an old disused flood light housing unit, 30 raised beds each rented by a person or family per year to grow vegetables in, and a community allotment with 6 raised beds, 1 fire pit, 2 honey bee hives, 6 bumble bee homes, 2 deer (Ok they are wooden deer!) and many muddy puddles to play in!
We allow hands on experience regarding nature activities and believe this wild natural greenspace is of a great health benefit, both mental and physical, to this well built up area in Glasgow.
Glasgow and especially the area this land is located in needs a better connection between people and nature. Many of theses young kids for example have never been in a woodland environment. Nor have they ever picked fruit from an orchard tree or understand compost. They been in parks with avenues of planted trees but not a self seeded woodland and meadow. The area is predominantly high tenement flats with 8 flats in each block. They don’t normally have much of a garden, just a place for their communal bins. With Glasgow near the bottom of the health tables this land of ours is in the right place and providing the right solutions. Plus all this is done via a broad long standing constituted community group.
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Further description of our early days and why we were founded:
The group was set up after Glasgow City Council rejected out-of-hand the results of a survey, conducted in August 2008, which showed that local residents overwhelmingly supported the creation of a green space on the former playing fields. The Council wanted – and wants – to proceed with a plan to sell the land to a property developer for the creation of 90 flats. Local residents opposed this new development as the area is already densely populated with attendant traffic problems. Its also going against the stated policy of the Council which states x football pitches should not be sold off if they are being used for any other open space activity by local people.
There has been two survey’s of local opinion . The last one was the largest which went out to about 1700 homes in the area. 94% of local residents responding to the survey opposed the Council’s plan to sell the land to a property developer and supported the North Kelvin Meadow Group’sproposal for a mixed-use green space comprising allotments and a community orchard, a wild meadow and a wood. You’ll see by the huge number that have signed the Petition along with their comments just how much overwhelming support this campaign has got and which continues to grow.
This land has never had housing on it. The former tennis court now has 30+ foot trees growing out of it (we call it The Children’s Wood now as so many kids play there, see their website for more details). It’s a beautiful space, which the Council had previously allowed to degenerate into an informal dumping ground. The North Kelvin Meadow Group cleaned the land up and turned it into a community green space called the North Kelvin Meadow. As off August 2011 the land falls into the West End Conservation area – this on its own “should” save it but unfortunately we still believe the Council want to carry on with their plan to sell. That means 500 trees would be chopped down as a result even though all trees in a Conservation Zone should be protected.
The Meadow comprises raised-bed allotments, a fruit garden, composting facilities and a wild flower plantation. It is one of the largest Orchid sites in Glasgow – all wild, with some of the Orchids being about 15 years old. There is a shortage of allotments in Glasgow as a whole and there is currently only one very oversubscribed allotment ground (8+ year waiting list) in the Maryhill and North Kelvinside area. The North Kelvin Meadow has helped provide new allotment opportunities for people living in the local area. But its not just about allotments – there is a huge problem in Glasgow of obesity, asthma, unhealthly eating and drinking and a lack of community. This land helps to address these issues and it does it with no cost to the taxpayer so far.
The North Kelvin Meadow Group has not been daunted by posturing from Glasgow City Council, which slapped an eviction notice on the land on 15 July 2009. However local residents continue to sign up for raised-bed allotments and are getting involved with the large Community Raised Bed, the 7 compost bins and a host of other activities as well.
On 21 August 2009, the community group was taken to court by the Glasgow City Council for improving their local area, a move described by Patrick Harvie MSP as ‘absurd’. The sheriff upheld a limited interdict ad interim against two of the group only being Douglas A Peacock and Karen Chung, preventing them from putting up bat boxes and installing new raised beds. The sheriff said the campaigners ‘had done only good’.
Feel free to drill into the history files to read more on what local people have been doing to manage and save this land.
If you want to help manage the land please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org