Not many people know this, but there is a magical place for children to play in the heart of the West-end of Glasgow. A place that is not a park or a playground. It is called the “Children’s Wood’ and when you’re in it you feel like you have been transported to the calm of the countryside.
The Children’s Wood is part of the North Kelvin Meadow, just off Clouston Street. You wouldnt believe that the area was a collection of Tennis Courts just under 30 years ago because now it is filled with Willow and Birch trees, and many other interesting plants and animals. The Wood is hardly used because people don’t know it’s there.
My son and I, and some of the other local families decided to start using this part of the meadow recently (other parts of the meadow are used for many other valuable community activities like allotment plots and dog walking). What has emerged in The Children’s Wood is a few paths and, we (the children and their parents)have created some stepping stones and balance beam paths made from old tree trunks, collected after the bad weather.
The children love it, and the adults too. We made a couple of very small benches (not too big as they would be too inviting for late night drinkers) which means you can relax back and look up through the trees to the sky above. The children have been doing all sorts of imaginative play games in the wood such as: train stations, sailing adventures, constructions sites, gardening and playing doctors. Not to mention a whole host of other games, and using only the objects found in the wood.
I love the Children’s Wood because it is a space which the children can call their own. There are no manicured lawns or formal areas to inhibit play. My son and I spend hours in the wood playing all sorts of games and examining the many interesting plants and animals.
The sad news is that the council wants to sell the land to build flats ,despite the land being in a conservation area and the fact that over 90% of local residents want to keep it.
We are not letting this put us off though and things may change after the elections in May. This land is incredibly valuable to the local community, because it fosters a sense of happiness and well-being. This is far more important than having more flats or the council getting more money. We just hope that those making the big decisions about this kind of land come to see how important the North Kelvin Meadow is for the local community.
We may need your help at some point if a planning application does go in. Please sign the petition below to help save the land:
See the North Kelvin Meadow website here: http://northkelvinmeadow.com/