Clay quarry transformed
Published Monday, 06 December 2010
A former clay quarry has been transformed into a wonderful green space for the people of Blantyre and beyond to enjoy.
Redlees Quarry on the outskirts of the town had become an informal dumping ground but has now been transformed into an 'Urban Fringe' park.
The 27-hectare site, just off the town's Blantyre Farm Road, was officially opened by Councillor Chris Thompson, the chair of the council's Enterprise Resources Committee.
Money for the project came following a successful bid by the council to the Scottish Government Vacant and Derelict Land fund for £300,000.
The funding enabled work to progress on footpaths and connections to the core path network to cater for a variety of users including walking, mountain biking and horse riding.
A vastly improved car park has also been created along with improved pedestrian access down to the quarry pond with physical improvements to the pond itself including cleaning out debris, planting and re-shelving. These improvements already appear to be attracting wildlife back to the pond, with a heron regularly making an appearance and signs of otters coming from the river to use the pond.
Damaged trees were removed and remedial works carried out to encourage natural re-growth of grass and vegetation.
A detailed conservation and management plan is also in place and solid brick picnic tables have been installed.
The idea of bringing the derelict site back into public use was initially mooted in 2008 by way of a community consultation process. Council officials asked Blantyre residents how they currently used the area and what future improvements they would like to see. Based on the feedback received, and working closely with Scottish Natural Heritage, a detailed package of proposals was drawn up.
Councillor Chris Thompson, the chair of the council's Enterprise Resources Committee, said: "A tremendous hidden beauty spot has been created at a spot which was in desperate need of regeneration on the edge of Blantyre.
"Local people can now enjoy a beautiful walk around this area and I am sure they will be amazed at the transformation that has taken place.
"It is always a challenge for councils to find the most effective and community-friendly ways in which to re-use run down and derelict sites. In this case, this was particularly so, as we are dealing with a large site within the urban area.
"This project would not have been possible without the input of a number of people and o organisations.
"Thanks have to be extended to all the various resources of the Council who have been involved as well as Changing Places, Community Links, TGP landscape architects, Land Engineering, the Friends of Redlees and last but not least the various members of the community who have shown a keen interest in this fantastic project.