Dear Green place?

August 5, 2010 by  

by Lynsay Keough, photo Stuart Maxwell

Martin from Tchai-Ovna at the proposed development site

Martin from Tchai-Ovna at the proposed development site

As the residents of Otago Lane in the city’s west end await news of the planning application that will drastically effect their businesses and general environment, the question must be is the “Dear green place” a romantic sentiment that is becoming less and less relevant?

The “Green Corridors” of Glasgow, as recognised by Scottish Natural Heritage, are unique due to their lack of development. They are important as both a leisure and wildlife resource. The River Kelvin flows through a steep wooded gorge to the north and west of the city. The very fact that it does flow at a lower level through the area away from development helps the area retain it’s rural feel.

When the Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network Partnership were setting down their Green Network Strategy in July 2007 they listed a Series of “Aspirational Outcomes”. Under their section of Biodiversity and Environment they listed the protection of “habitat networks”. Their strategy is a 25 year plan to help encourage local authorities to take a greener view of the environment in their care.
A habitat and protected species survey was carried out in Otago Lane and its riverbank area over a period of months in 2009. It concluded that the area represents opportunities for some local wildlife in terms of cover and as part of a wider widelife corridor along the River Kelvin, indeed potential otter tracks have been found just upstream of this proposed development site.

I have no doubt that landscaping some areas of the cities really do have a positive effect on the environment but surely a duty of care to protect something that is naturally occuring is also owed. I hope that the concerns of the Green Network Strategy are heeded when the Glasgow City Council end their deliberations.

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