29 April 2019
Plans for 500 miles worth of walking and cycling routes have been drawn up
There are plans in place to introduce a “Green Network” in Glasgow this year which aims to connect the city centre to parks and nature areas across the region.
The routes will be accessible by bicycle and foot and allow people easier access to outdoor areas. The areas covered will stretch from Ayrshire and Inverclyde in the West, to Fife and the Lothians in the East.
Arthur Keller, Operations Manager at Scottish Natural Heritage, said: “A healthy environment is the basis of our quality of life and underpins our economy so it is vital that it is improved to benefit us now and for future generations.
“The GCV makes the Glasgow City Region a much more vibrant, resilient and successful place. It will provide well-connected, high-quality, multi-use green spaces throughout the region, from cycle paths to allotments, wildlife habitats to rain gardens.”
Stuart Chalmers, Visitor Services Manager for the Central Region at Forestry and Land Scotland, said: “The vision for the GCV is that by 2050, Central Scotland has been transformed into a place where the environment adds value to the economy and where people’s lives are enriched by its quality.”
Pollok Park, Glasgow. Photograph: Pixabay.
The Green Network, also known as the Glasgow & Clyde Valley (GCV) Green Network, is a collaboration by eight local authorities in the Glasgow City Region and has been in the works for approximately 12 years. It is part of an effort to make Glasgow a more vibrant and environmental-friendly city.
Recent data on greenspace in Scottish cities found that, in comparison to other cities in Scotland, Glasgow has “a far higher proportion of amenity greenspace, with 12% of its greenspace being amenity greenspace. In Glasgow, 13% of the green space is public parks and gardens, more than in Aberdeen or Dundee (5% and 6% respectively.)”
Greenspace facts. Source: Understanding Glasgow
Chalmers added: “Glasgow is fortunate in the wide range of green spaces but the issue is ensuring there is a consistent high quality to the greenspace across the city. Greenspace tends to be valued more by communities as other issues such as quality of housing, schools and public services improve.”
Although 60% of the access network is already in place, bringing the project to life presented various challenges.
Keller said: “A lot of development in previous decades turned its back on greenspace, burns were culverted, and land was fenced off. In the past we have tended to tarmac over, fence off, and generally ‘tidy up’ natural greenspace. Attitudes are changing now, but we still have physical and cultural barriers to overcome.”
The Glasgow & Clyde Valley Green Network will be launched in May 2019.