PLANS to create an urban nature park beside the Forth and Clyde Canal at Firhill, Glasgow — including a path network and new bridges — have been approved.
City planners have given the go-ahead for environmental works by Scottish Canals. The project will be centred on the Claypits Nature Reserve and the basin behind Partick Thistle’s Firhill Stadium.
A document submitted as part of the application stated: “The overall vision for the development is to transform a large area of under-utilised canalside greenspace, located close to the communities of Woodside, Firhill and Hamiltonhill, into a significant urban nature park.
A new accessible path network, including an arts, heritage and nature trail, will be created. Around two kilometres of path, including sections of boardwalk, will be formed. A continuous route will be provided for walkers and cyclists on the eastern side of the canal, including a bridge over the Ellesmere Spur.
A retractable pedestrian/cycle bridge will be built across the canal at Garscube, opposite Trossachs Street, with a pedestrian/cycle path link to Garscube Road. There will be enough space to allow kayakers and canoeists to pass beneath the bridge when it is in the closed position.
Two new bridges will restore historic connections across the canal entrances to Firhill Basin. The one at the northern entrance to the basin will be a fixed bridge while the one at the southern will be an opening bridge.
A Living on the Water facility will be provided at Firhill Basin featuring 26 residential moorings, 12 floating pontoons, low-level lighting of the island footpath and pontoons, and 75 electricity hook-up points for temporary moorings.
Distinctive gateways to the area will be created at Westercommon Drive, Ellesmere Street, Garscube Road and Panmure Street.
There will be a series of viewpoints, activity and meeting points; signage and wayfinding, and furniture items; sculpture and arts elements; and habitat improvements.
An activity space on the gravel pitch at Westercommon will include an informal pitch area, a ball sport area, climbing and seating boulders and a level surface with cycling circuit.
A zigzag path will go from Garscube Road across the grass area to the canal tow path, linking with a new pedestrian/cycle bridge that will lead to a new path connecting with the existing route through Clapypits nature area to Hamiltonhill.
The planning application states: “The development will create a valuable semi-wild greenspace in close proximity to Glasgow City Centre. It will serve existing and future local communities as well as act as significant greenspace destination for the wider city region. It will create a well-connected, attractive and educational resource which forms part of a wider initiative to create a vibrant neighbourhood in North Glasgow for people to live, work and play.”