Alert for Dog Owners and Dog Walkers.

No doubt you may be aware of a worrying number of incidents across parks in Glasgow (Kelvingrove Botanics, Linn Park, Kings Park, Partick) in which meat or tennis balls have been poisoned and left out publicly. As a result, several dogs have been poisoned, become seriously ill and in some cases died.
We all want to minimise the risk of this happening and use our collective vigilance to keep our pets safe. if you do come across any meat products or stray tennis balls on the ground in any public park (not just the Meadows) and you suspect these may be poisoned, please can you take the following steps.
1. Remove the meat ensuring that you protect your hands with a poo bag or gloves.
2. Dispose of the item safely and fully out of reach.
3. Call your local Community Police on 101 to report the incident.
In the case of tennis balls, it’s very difficult to know if these are simply lost or deliberately placed so err on the side of caution and dispose of them –better a lost ball than a sick pet.
Recognising the signs of poisoning
If you suspect that your dog has consumed poison, you must call a veterinary clinic IMMEDIATELY who will advise you how to proceed. There are multiple types of poison and symptoms can vary significantly. These can include:
• Diarrhea
• Vomiting
• Abnormal behaviour (e.g. falling over or staggering gait)
• Excessive salivation (drooling)
• Excessive sleepiness or hyper activity and restlessness
• Loss of appetite
Do NOT try to induce vomiting in your dog which may make the situation worse
Useful numbers
Depending on your location, your local vet clinic will vary but for Meadows users, the following numbers may be helpful to keep in your phone:
McDonald Vets, Queen Margaret Drive: 0141 9463651
Vets Now (24 Hours): 123-145 North Street: 0141 319 4664
Thank you for your help in keeping our parks safe for all users.

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Some Shakespeare, then Whats New?

Shakespeare, Henry V

 “The even mead that erst brought sweetly forth

The freckled cowslip, burnet and green clover

Wanting the scythe, all uncorrected, rank

Conceives by idleness, and nothing teems

But hateful docks, rough thistles, keksies, burs,

Losing both beauty and utility.”


The above refers to meadow management.

What’s new?

A cut of the meadow areas on the land has been carried out. This is to cut back some of the fast growing grass we have which will then free up flower seed to grow next year. The cut has only taken place in the less used areas.

The cuttings have been raked off the land and composted, so as fertility isn’t put back into these areas. Meadows need poor fertilely; otherwise grass outcompetes the flowers.

Yellow rattle (Rhinanthus minor) which is semi-parasitic on grasses has been sowed near the meadow areas. This is one of the most important flowers to keep a meadow flowering.

A new bin has been installed in the centre as the last one began to fall apart. Thanks always to Jim for empty it.

The old fire pit area been sowed with mostly grass seed.

The fence line near the entrance on Kelbourne street has had some meadow seed sowed on it.

Some new patches of meadow have been created. The process has been the same as done previously, where the turf been turned upside down, gently raked and then meadow seed sowed. Next year (2018) this should looked as if its merged into it’s surrounding, albeit with meadow flowers. Currently they look brown.

Some of the meadow seed types are listed below, the % is proportion in the packets:

Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus Corniculatus) 2.5%,

Common Cat’s Ear (Hypochaeris Radicata) 1.0%

Corn Poppy (papaver Rhoeas) 2.5%,

Cowslip ( Primula Veris) 0.2% ,

Field Scabious (Knautia Arvensis) 2.5%,

Lady’s Bedstraw (Galium Verum) 7.5%,

Lesser Knapweed (Centaurea Nigra) 7.5%,

Meadow Buttercup (Ranunculus Acris) 7.5%,

Meadow Vetchling (Lathyrus pratensis) 1.0%,

Musk Mallow (Malva Moschata) 7.5%,

Ox Eye Daisy (Leucanthemum Vulgare) 2.0%,

Ragged Robin (Lychnis Flos Cuculi) 0.2%,

Red Campion (Silene Dioica) 7.5%,

Ribwort Plantain (Planatago Lanceolata) 7.5% ,

Rough Hawkbit (Leontodon hispidus) 0.5%,

Salad Burnet (Sanguisorba Minor) 7.5%,

Self Heal (Prunella Vulgaris) 7.5%,

Small Scabious (Scabiosa columbaria) 0.5%,

Common Sorrel (Rumex Acetosa) 2.5%,

White Campion (Silene Alba) 7.0%,

Wild Carrot ( Daucus carota) 5.0%,

Upright Hedge Parsley (Torilis Japonica) 2.5%

Yarrow, (Achillea millefolium) 2.5%,

Yellow Rattle (Rhinanathus Minor) 5.0%., (much more than this % will be sowed).

Wild Clary (Salvia Verbenaca) 2 .5%;


Orchard trees and bushes along Kelbourne street fence line have been pruned and their bases freed up from grass. We’re thinking of planting a few more fruit trees so if that’s something your interested in helping with, then please get in touch? We really would welcome the help!

Some new bird feeders have been put up. Feel free to add more or fill the existing one. Are you interested in putting up some bird or bat boxes?

Any questions, concerns, feedback, or you want to help, then please contact:

Some useful reference websites on meadows:

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Glasgow needs Orchards!

North Kelvin Orchard and Meadow

Glasgow needs Orchards! Ours helps locals take an interest not just in nature, but in healthily living too. They come to this 1.4 hectares of inner city community greenspace for many reasons. Kids playing in their wood, families having picnics on their meadow, dogs walking their owners. They see the fruit in the orchard, they eat it, and that then takes them further along on that journey in connecting them to nature. They then look after not just the tree that gave them apples on that picnic, but they look after and take an interest in the rest of the land. They get interested in composting as we use that to help boost the growth of the fruit bushes and trees. Kids using the orchard is very important to us, so we always aim to prune in a way that the fruit is low enough down so they can pick them.

We manage the land the orchard is on as a meadow. This means we have a meadow management plan in place. Basically the orchard and meadow are one. We’ve found wildlife especially reap the benefits of this. We’d like to study it more but it’s our belief that as the meadow flowers sometimes open at different times to the fruit in the orchard this helps wildlife. Over the years we’ve often had a lot of feedback from people saying they think we have much more wildlife e.g bumbles bees, insects, birds etc than many City parks and this could well be the reason why.

Glasgow is very near the bottom of most health tables in Europe. We and this Orchard want to do our bit to get Glasgow and her people further up that table!

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Sucesss! We win!

Today the Scottish Ministers have delivered their verdict and backed the decision by the Reporter Mr Cunliffe that the planning housing application by New City Vision Ltd be refused. This is a huge decision and means this land is saved for this and future generations! Goodness that sounds good to hear!

The government Reporter Mr Cuncliffe highlighted that the land delivers a different type of green open space provision than what’s in the area currently. He stated the Council’s decision to sell it off for housing wouldn’t comply with policies that seek to protect open space and that selling it for housing would also be inconsistent with policy that’s there to protect trees and biodiversity.

Douglas Peacock, spokesperson for North Kelvin Meadow, said today ” Scottish Ministers have made the right decision, as it supports a heathlier community for young and old alike, it also backs a community having its say on what happens within their area. There are some good well worded planning policy out there, the problem’s been that when it comes to crunch time the decision often goes the way of the property developer and against green space that benefits communities. Not this time though! ”

It’s been officially 8 years of a long and hard fight getting to this decision. And so there needs to be a huge thanks given to all those that have stuck in there and helped the campaign ,plus people , animals and wildlife that use the land. Special thanks to all those people in The Children Wood putting on their events, the dog walkers being there and helping when it counts, plus the various individuals such as Jim Divers that have given their time over such along period.

This isn’t the end though. We’re here today from the support of the local community and our success going forward will be whether we can keep that going by maintaining the land and helping it benefit all in our community.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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A letter to Angela Constance MSP who will make the decision on the NCV Ltd planning application.

This is a letter from Julian Hoffam to:

Angela Constance MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security & Equalities
St. Andrew’s House
Regent Road

September 8th, 2016

Dear Ms. Constance,

I’m currently writing a book called Irreplaceable to be published by Hamish Hamilton and Penguin Books, which explores those places of great significance – to both wildlife and human communities – that are increasingly being lost from our immediate surroundings. It examines what those losses might mean in terms of a diminished sense of belonging, wonder and experience in our lives. As part of my research I travelled to Glasgow in June 2016 to spend four days in North Kelvin Meadow and the Children’s Wood in order to hear the story of this threatened place for inclusion in the book. I wanted to understand, as best I could, the deep connections that have been forged between local people and those transformed municipal football pitches. I wanted to get a sense of what the place, as it is now, means to them — and what its potential loss would entail. In the end, however, I returned home from that journey having learned more about gain than loss, seeing first-hand the extraordinary and wide-reaching benefits that can be attained when positive communal efforts transform not only a place but also the lives around it.

I’ve travelled to many parts of the UK and other regions in the world over the three years that I’ve been writing this book, and in all that time I can honestly say that I’ve never experienced a place that evoked so much immediate joy and tangible sense of community as the one currently under threat in Kelvinside, a testament, I believe, to the passionate and selfless work done on its behalf by a large and diverse number of people in the area. Their efforts are commendable particularly because they are communal. To see a place so clearly loved and enjoyed by so many is a reminder of the great potential for community in urban areas, a well-spring of opportunity that so often goes untapped for countless reasons. This was immediately apparent in the network of friendships that have sprung up around the meadow, in a part of the city where many neighbours, as I was told more than once, had little or no connection to one another prior to the transformation of the place and the campaign to preserve it. The meadow is the hinge on which so many other things open; without it, like the loss of a village square of old, an inimitable link would be broken.

Alongside its value as an important natural space in the city, where forest school classes have been immensely successful and bats swept above the meadow at dusk during my stay, part of the beauty of the North Kelvin Meadow is its inclusivity. There is a belief that it belongs to all. Nowhere have I interviewed a group of teenagers who proudly spoke about having such a personal stake in a place, honestly revealing that without it they would in all likelihood be hanging around city streets and alleys at night. Nowhere else have I been told by a young girl that a wood felt like the safest place in the world to her outside of her home. “I can feel free here,” she said as we sat beneath the gleaming birches of the Children’s Wood, the laughter of other children ringing through the air around us. And nowhere else have I known a man in his 70s who, for many years and without acknowledgement, pay or being asked to, has quietly gone about cleaning the rubbish bags from the meadow each day as his way of making a difference to the place – time and commitment being his personal investment in its fragile future. This is a place that brings out and sustains the best in people – enabled by the freedom of its space to feel at home while being supportive of others through its inspiring co-operative history.

This vision of openness and inclusion has engendered a remarkable degree of respect for the place from its various users and cultivated a sense of duty and care within the community as a whole. It’s a timely reminder of what our finest civic spaces should aspire to. At any given time I could find dog walkers, book readers and chatting parents in the wood. An hour later I might find myself talking to elderly, working-class gentlemen out for a stroll, or older, middle-class ladies who’d arrived having heard they could see wild orchids in the meadow. An hour after that I could speak to those teenagers I mentioned earlier, squatted beside their bikes and smoking cigarettes, or sit around a firepit and listen to people sharing stories and strumming guitars. And come morning I could walk with children through the leafy, sunlit wood and be able to peer for a few moments through a magical window of possibility as they described with their own eyes, words and experiences what they loved about the place so much. In an age when social exclusion, nature deficit and health issues such as obesity and depression are still sadly common, the meadow is laudable for being a shared space in which people are able to come together and contribute in meaningful ways, exercise in a stimulating and welcoming environment, deepen friendships and make positive local connections, grow fresh vegetables and share in the healthy fruits of the community orchard, and explore the natural world in ways that can cultivate an entire lifetime of wonder for a child. These real and enriching possibilities are irreplaceable, the very bedrock of personal and societal well-being. For such a small urban place, transformed and maintained not by a government agency but by motivated and caring citizens, its benefits are beyond measure – a community space that a council should be immensely proud to have in its city.


Julian Hoffman

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Maryhill Road Football Pitches

After a recent meeting with Glasgow City Council it appears they will kick off a public consulation at the end of Sept 2016 on where to build an extra Primary School within the North Kevin area. They have 4 sites shortlisted but their preferred one is on the Maryhill Road footabll pitches at the corner of Maryhill Road and Queen Margret Drive. We don’t know where the other 3 sites are.

At the moment there is 1 full sized blasé pitch, 2 small blase pitches and 1 tarmac pitch.  Their plan will be to renovate the full sized pitch with a 3G surface and build a primary school , access road and car parking for the school on the rest of the land. The new full sized pitch will beable to be rented out to anyone that wants it i.e. it will have a seperate access point from the school. The existing nursery school building will probably be moved to another part of the land as the entry to the new primary school will probably be from where it is currently.

Red blasé as a footabll surface is not popular and most competitive games won’t be played on that surface. So the need to renovate the surface into a synethic grass (called 3G) is widely acknowledged as something that needs to happen.

Its worth recapping on some history regarding this site and the surrounding area. The Council did close some primary schools in the wider area some years back . The reason was a lack of kids for these schools. However the Council are now saying the 2008 credit crash has changed the demographics of this area. Now more familes are staying rather than moving further out of the city to raise a family. Council by law has to provide schooling for kids in its area. They also mentioned where they closed the schools isn’t exactly in the same area as they want to build a new primary school.

The Council say one of the advantages to building the primary school on this site is it means they have less admin costs to manging both the pitch and school. It also gets round the problem of getting funding to renovate the existing pitches as that would be tied up with funding for the school.

In 2008 there was a plan tabled and backed by the Council to renovate the existing pitches, build a club house with changing rooms, meeting rooms along with conference facilities for £3.5m. The Council has recently gone through the details of that plan and now state at todays prices it would be £5m. The original plan was built on £1m of that funding coming from the sale of North Kelvin Meadow which back in 1993 was a red blase football pitch. Today there is much support for keeping the North Kelvin Meadow and the Children Wood from being sold off for housing. Plus getting the balance i.e. the £4m is not seen as doable in todays financial environment. Hence why the Council is looking at the new prmary school for this land.

The North Kelvin Community Council (NKCC) at the same meeting with the Council had their own plans to renovate the Maryhill Pitches. This was described as essentially just renovating each of the exsiting red blasé pitches onto a synthetic 3G grass, provide fencing and goals posts. They have sourced a supplier that can come and do a turn key service on this i.e. one company will project mange it and hand it over once finished. In total for all 4 pitches that would come to about £600k. They said if funding proved difficult to raise for that amount they would propose renovating the small tarmac pitch first, which would be about £100-150k on its own. Then at a later date do the others.

The Council was asked if they had thought of renovating the school at the back of the Elephant Park for this new primary school. The current plans by the council are to sell that and the adjoining grass land off for private housing. This has caused many objections from locals in that area as they have also parceled in the actual Elephant park as part of that bundled proposed sale. Could they keep the Elephant Park and build the new primary school at the back of that? We’ll need to see come the public consulation at the end of Sept 2016.

No one has a crystal ball to show the future. Would Brexit have a bearing on demographics? The new primaty school isn’t expected to be built for 4-5 years.












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Significant news and its brilliant !!

Posted 22nd June 2016

There are basically two government appointed people (the role is called a Reporter) coming to a conclusion on whether the land should be sold for housing or saved. We’ve been informed today that the first one has concluded that the land should NOT be sold for housing. We’ve waited a very long time for this and it’s a great result! So well done all that have been campaigning and helping the land over the years. Some background on this decision: Glasgow City Council proposed a new City Development Plan (which all planning applications refer to) back in 2012, and loads of us objected to them labeling the land for housing. The Scottish Government appointed a Reporter to decide on those areas the public wanted something very different from the Council. Today the Reporter sided with you the people 🙂

Ok lets get some context on this. Yesterday the second Reporter that’s been appointed said they would be having a public hearing and we will be heard at that in due course. That is to determine the planning application from New City Vision Ltd. The decision today is based what the land should be labeled as in the forthcoming City Development Plan. In short you’d expect both Reporters to come to the same conclusion, as they both will be looking at the same facts. But ofcourse lets not count our chickens just yet! 🙂 We and others will be making as strong a case as ever at the forthcoming hearing. If you’d like to get involved with any aspect of managing the land or the campaign then do email in and let us know, we still need all the help we can get. But this goes down as a great landmark day!

Overall conclusions (copied from Government document and available on Council website)

I recognise that the development of this site for housing would make a contribution towards meeting the shortfall in the provision of land for new housing in the City, which we have identified as a deficiency in the Proposed Plan in Issue 17. However, the land at Clouston Street is a highly valued open space which is well used and maintained by the local community, and which should continue to be safeguarded for that purpose. Its development for housing would be in conflict with planning policies which seek to protect such areas. I have therefore decided to modify the Proposed Plan by deleting Housing Proposal H023.

Since the Proposed Plan does not designate open spaces I am unable to formally designate the site as an open space. It will be a matter for the council to reflect the outcome of this examination in its review of its Open Space Map, and in its Open Space Strategy (see Issue 6).

Reporter’s recommendations:

Modify the Proposed Plan by deleting Housing Proposal H023.


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