WORK has started on extending the award-winning Cuningar Loop woodland park on the banks of the River Clyde between Dalmarnock and Rutherglen.
Phase two of Cuningar Loop is part of a £40million programme of projects improving the urban environment of larger towns and cities around Scotland.
The Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention, led by NatureScot, is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), with a £15 million investment in urban Scotland.
The ERDF funding along with funding from the Scottish Government’s Clyde Mission fund will see the £3.8million extension delivered by the Robertson Group who will be responsible for transforming the once derelict and inaccessible former land-fill site into new green space, designed to enhance community engagement, health, wellbeing and lifelong learning.
Cuningar Loop woodland park, managed by Forestry and Land Scotland, currently spans 37 acres and links communities in Dalmarnock in Glasgow’s East End and Rutherglen in South Lanarkshire. Upon completion the park will have increased to 58 acres.
The extension of the woodland park will see provision of 1,722 metres of footpaths, a teaching amphitheatre created with tree trunks, 167 specimen trees and 11,000 square metres of wildflower meadow and grassland.
Earlier this year, Clyde Gateway announced two new facilities for the park –- The Bothy and Tur — which are also currently under construction. The Bothy is a multifunctional meeting space for the community and businesses, and The Tur is an accessible viewing platform that will provide expansive treetop views over the park.
Clyde Gateway’s chief executive Ian Manson said: “Clyde Gateway continues to show why it is Scotland’s largest and most ambitious regeneration project with the expansion of this much-loved woodland park.
“Glasgow’s East End is a great place to live, work and visit and the extension of Cuningar Loop will give everyone even more fantastic outdoor space that can be used all year round.”
Francesca Osowska, chief executive NatureScot, said: “With all eyes on Glasgow and the forthcoming [climate change conference] COP26, the expansion of this idyllic park is great news, creating quality green space and nurturing nature in the heart of the city.
“The pandemic has resulted in many more people using and enjoying parks and other green spaces and we hope this development helps to sustain that connection with nature, with all the many benefits that has for people and the planet.”
A spokesperson for Clyde Mission said: “Our long-term partnership with Clyde Gateway continues to pay dividends with another project which will not only support our ambitions for a green economy but will also bring even more people back to the riverside to enjoy the outdoors and the fantastic site at Cuningar Loop.
“The Clyde Mission funding has enabled the construction of the project to be accelerated and demonstrates our commitment to a wide range of projects underway across the Clyde waterway, from repurposing historic buildings to district heating, which will support communities and jobs.”