A RUN-DOWN stretch of land in Carmunnock is set to be transformed into a scenic hotspot, with a little help from a team of hardworking ScottishPower employees.
The under-used site, which is a willow plantation, is unpopular with locals and has been used for fly tipping in the past. It was targeted as part of the energy firm’s partnership with Scottish Business in the Community and is part of a wider plan organised by Glasgow Greenspace to turn the area into a Willow Sculpture Park.
The team of 29 workers from ScottishPower were the first company on site to build a sculpture using the willow and began the transformation on Monday 30th November. By the Friday of that week, staff had harvested, cut and transformed the willow into the first sculpture for the park.
If permission is granted, the trail will be part of a larger project, which will complement the creation of the 2014 Commonwealth Games Mountain Bike Course on Cathkin Braes. It is set to attract families across the country who are interested in both walking and cycling in the run up to the Games.
Phil Duffield, Community Liaison Manager at ScottishPower, said:
“We decided to get involved in this project as Carmunnock is near to our headquarters in Cathcart and is known for its stretch of greenbelt, including the willow plantation. We are proud to be the first company to build a sculpture on site and the workers really enjoyed rolling their sleeves up and doing their bit for the community, especially as many of the team members are local.”
ScottishPower’s support compliments a Glasgow Greenspace community consultation featuring nearly 100 local interested parties.
A proposal for a bigger strategy for the area is currently with Glasgow City Council for approval and includes creating ponds and wildflower meadows to attract wildlife and improve the biodiversity of the site. The improvements would create a family-orientated network of footpaths and cycleways for walkers and cyclists to enjoy.
“If proposals are given the green light, we’d love to continue working on the project, especially as we were involved from the beginning. We’re looking forward to seeing the trail blossom over the years and hope that visitors and locals make the most of the transformed area.”
The completed trail would permit families to walk or cycle along the footpaths in search of the various willow sculptures, to look for wildlife in the new ponds and wildflower meadows and to enjoy a new outdoor recreation facility.
James McMahon, Project Officer at Glasgow Greenspace, organisers of the project, said:
“We are delighted to have ScottishPower’s support on this project and would like to thank the team for its work on the very first sculpture for the park. Willow is an extremely versatile material to work with and many local artists have created spectacular artworks with it. The plantation has many hectares of willow, which are ideal to use as the main media for sculpture on the site.”
Over the next few weeks, James and his team are contacting a total of eight local nursery, primary and secondary schools to offer them the unique chance of working with a willow artist to design a sculpture.
Their designs will be showcased on the site in Carmunnock as part of a competition, with the winning entry being made professionally and included as part the official trail.
The Carmunnock Willow Sculpture Trail is just one of many projects ScottishPower has been involved in with Scottish Business in the Community.
James Tindell, Employee Volunteering Programme Manager at Scottish Business in the Community, said:
“This has been a fantastic project for ScottishPower to get involved in. The team has really helped to pioneer a new community resource and bring attention to the great work done by Glasgow Greenspace. It is important for large companies like ScottishPower, which is committed to responsible practice, to offer its staff the opportunity to be part of being a responsible business. Employee volunteering is a great way of getting to know colleagues better whilst also supporting the communities in which they operate, serve and recruit from.”
George Glen, Team Manager from the ScottishPower Settlements Team, said:
“We were keen to have a team building day that was different from the usual type of activity and allowed us to make a difference to our local community. The result has been fantastic and it has taken us out of our comfort zone, brought us closer together and left a lasting legacy for our community. We are really proud of what we have achieved.”
Issued by The BIG Partnership on behalf of ScottishPower.
For more information please contact:
Gillian Hamilton on 0141 333 9585 / 07734 656 676 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
- ScottishPower provides employability training for young, disadvantaged people in our local communities through programmes in three distinct areas – school, community and work based.
- Since its inception in 1996, their programmes have helped over 16,500 young people. The positive, long term impact of ScottishPower work was recognised in July 2007 with a Silver Jubilee Award from Business in the Community, as well as several Big Ticks across its range of programmes.