One of the special events during the West End Festival is the ‘Gruffalo’s child afternoon on Sunday 24 June in the Children’s Wood at North Kelvin Meadow starting at 2pm. Tam Dean Burn will read the Gruffalo’s Child story. There will be Gruffalo face painting and Gruffalo prizes to be won, plus lots more..
As the North Kelvin Meadow campaigners say: ‘Experience the Children’s Wood on North Kelvin Meadow before this beautiful green area is lost forever. A planning application has been submitted. We have about a month to Save the North Kelvin Meadow. This is the only wild space in the West-end. Children need this type of environment – manicured spaces and parks are not the same.’ They emphasise that wild spaces like the meadow, are invaluable to children, especially those growing up in towns. ‘Meadows like this stimulate the imagination and nurture the spirit. Places like this are hard to come by in urban settings so should be preserved at all costs,’ said Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo.’
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Keep in touch with the latest on the North Kelvin Meadow campaign
Don’t expect protesting gardeners to chain themselves to flower beds when land testing work commences on the disputed ground at Clouston Street.
Despite a promise of co-operation from developers New City Vision and the gardeners of the North Kelvin Meadow Campaign, their objectives remain poles apart.
In December last year, New City Vision Ltd signed the missives with the council.
The land is not yet sold by the council, but will be if subsequent planning permission is granted.
Harry O’Donnell, Director of New City Vision, said: ‘We are nearly at the stage of testing the land with trial pots and bore holes.
‘We are doing everything possible to work in a spirit of co-operation with the gardeners on the site.
‘I recognise that they have invested time and energy into their project so I am doing all I can to ensure my people don’t disrupt their their plant boxes.
‘Moving some of their boxes may be inevitable but we are not going to ride roughshod over what is already there.
‘If possible we will see if an area for gardening can remain.’
Douglas Peacock, Chairman of the North Kelvin Meadow Campaign, claims he is still waiting for a meeting with New City Vision.
He said: ‘We are wanting to co-operate but the ball is in their court.
‘We were told that New City Vision would be test-drilling in January and we were going to meet them in December.
‘We were meant to meet with New City Vision and to discuss where they want to drill and to see what raised beds we might move.
‘However, I was informed by the council that they were still waiting on a meeting time.’
While Mr Peacock is happy to play ball with the developers and the council, he insisted there will be no let-up in their ultimate aim.
He said: ‘In the longer-term we will continue to fight and expect to win in our objection to the planning permission which is not yet granted.
‘We have overwhelming support with more than 800 local names on our petition.
‘So the council should take that on board and shouldn’t sell the land, but then again money talks.’
A spokesperson on behalf of Glasgow City Council said:
‘The developer is proposing to carry out site investigation in the near future, but is sympathetic to the needs of the campaigners and is amenable to planting continuing during the growing period in 2010.’
‘A meeting involving all concerned parties and the developers would be beneficial and we hope to have one soon.’
The Council has been left embarrassed after initiating a court case to evict community gardeners from West End land. The site of the former Clouston Street Playing Fields had lain derelict and abandoned until the community group began transforming it into a wild meadow.
Set up in October 2008 to oppose council plans to sell the land to a developer to create 115 flats, the North Kelvin Meadow group cleared away rubbish and planted fruit and vegetables.
Till then, the space had been a dumping ground, attracting drug users and other anti-social behaviour.
The transformed meadow now features raised-bed allotments, composting facilities and an orchard.
On 15 July, the Council placed an eviction notice on the land. The Council then issued an interim interdict against two members of the group, banning them from placing more items on to the site. When the court case came before the Sheriff on 21 August, he praised the work of the group, saying they had ‘Done nothing but good.’ The Sheriff stated that only Douglas Peacock and Karen Chung of the group should not add any more bat boxes or raised allotment beds to the site. This ruling effectively gives the rest of the group the green light to carry on with the development of the meadow. Douglas Peacock told LOCAL NEWS: ‘The council held a phoney consultation with the community, and the residents chose the development the Council favours, but in fact there was no real choice. Residents were presented with four broadly similar proposals, all residential. They chose the ‘least worst’. I conducted my own survey and overwhelmingly people wanted what we have now, a public space for the community’s benefit. The project has acquired a life of its own because there is so much interest. As well as privately owned raised allotment beds, we are planning to install a much larger community owned bed. We have the organic earth ready to go, and we were all set to build the beds. That’s why the council issued the interim interdict. Basically the land has been abandoned for 25 years, and now the community has become motivated on improving it. The council passed a motion in 2008 that vacant land should be used for growing produce, so we are simply following stated council policy.’