CLAYPITS LOCAL NATURE RESERVE
A very rare space, in an unexpected place…
Just one mile from the hustle and bustle of the City Centre lies the serene green space of Glasgow’s only inner-city Local Nature Reserve. Originally the location of a clay quarry used when the Forth & Clyde Canal was first built in the late 1700s, it was also the site of a foundry, glassworks and boat-building yard. These industries are long gone but the historic canal buildings, the oldest in Scotland, still dot the banks.
The Claypits’ beautiful setting, running alongside the edge of the canal, offers a tranquil, wild greenspace in the heart of the city, abundant with wildlife. Roe deer roam the site and many bird species can be found, from peregrine falcons to whitethroat warblers and a host of waterfowl – even the elusive water rail.
In surrounding communities, currently poorly served by quality greenspaces, the Claypits is a lifeline – offering vital opportunities for leisure, health, re-connecting with nature, education, community events and volunteering. 75,000 people live with a 20-minute walk (or just a few minutes bike ride).
Over the last few years, Scottish Canals, with Glasgow City Council and Friends of Possilpark Greenspace, have worked together to not only secure the site’s future by having it protected as a Local Nature Reserve, but also in securing substantial funding to support an extensive but sensitive, programme of development.
These forthcoming developments are based upon findings from a number of community consultations. This first stage, the construction of a cycling and walking route, funded by Sustrans, now enables people of all abilities to better access the Local Nature Reserve and links to the wider towpath and National Walking and Cycling Network.
Future proposed developments include an extension to the path network, boardwalks, re- designing the entrances, picnic area, interpretation boards and a new bridge to enhance access for the residents of Firhill, Woodside and Maryhill.
There is now a Claypits Local Nature Reserve Management Group – an independent charity made up entirely of local people, who in partnership with Friends of Possilpark Greenspace, will work very closely with Scottish Canals and Glasgow City Council in the delivery of these works.