• Petitioning Alex Salmond

This petition will be delivered to:

First Minister of Scotland
Alex Salmond
Minister for Local Government and Planning
Derek Mackay

The Scottish Government: Stop Glasgow City Council building on North Kelvin Meadow / Children's Wood

    1. Petition by

      North Kelvin Meadow and Children's Wood

The North Kelvin Meadow and Children's Wood is a wild outdoor space used by the local communities of Maryhill, Ruchill, North Kelvin, Hillhead and many more. Why? Because this is the last wild open space for adventurous free play in the area. We have manicured parks, yes, but only one wild space. Policies written by Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government are pushing for outdoor learning for the young as a key foundation for resilience, creativity, well-being, learning and motor-coordination skills. A playgroup affiliated with the Scottish Pre-school Playgroup Association meets on the land weekly, and Forest School Clubs attracting the local schools are also operating. To satisfy outdoor learning policies, it is obviously vastly superior if the pupils can walk to the open space rather than requiring buses/cars etc. Further regular events are running on the land, created by the willingness and effort of the local community, attracting around 1000 per month. Local parents regularly bring their children here for the sense of freedom, for the lack of burger vans, to see the pure enjoyment of their children at play.

Click here  for another video for giving the context.

Furthermore, much else will be lost if the land is built on: a natural habitat, a community meeting ground, a dog walking area, a bmx bike track, 25 raised bed allotment spaces and a community garden, a well-used composting facility, numerous fruit trees and bushes, and the opportunity to simply escape to a little patch of countryside for a few minutes in an otherwise busy day.

In the run-up to the Glasgow City Council Planning Application Meeting on this land, we have been told repeatedly by councillors that the sale of the land is a "done deal". How can it be? In a completely undemocratic "consultation" process, where local people were asked to vote for the least-bad of four proposals, with no fifth "don't build" option, the winning developer buys the land only if planning permission is granted. If this is a done deal, as so many are telling us, then the Council are making a mockery of the entire planning process.

There is national historic precedent against building on this land: in 1996, a Scottish Office Inquiry Reporter, called in to adjudicate on a developer's appeal to build on the land, ruled in favour of the land remaining open community space. The reasons that held then still hold today: no adequate provision of like-for-like space to the community; inadequate open space in the local area in the light of significant recent building work; very high levels of local community opposition to any building; supposed open space in building proposal obviously not a community space.

If the developer's application is successful, as it appears it is bound to be, we urge the Scottish Government to use its powers to "call in" this proposal. Calling in should happen when there is a significant change of use of the land and when there is a conflict of interest. Both situations hold here: the use changes from open community space to residential housing; Glasgow City Council both decide on whether the land is sold and are the recipients of the proceeds of the sale.

See http://northkelvinmeadow.com and http://thechildrenswood.com for more info, and also facebook pages http://facebook.com/northkelvinmeadow and http://facebook.com/thechildrenswood.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 3,000 signatures
    2. In the Herald today: Scottish Government interest in the Meadow

      Great article in the Herald today about the Scottish Government's recent letter to Glasgow City Council. It directs them, if they decide to grant planning permission, to send to the Government all details of the application, including all our representations and how the decision properly addresses them. A government source noted that this move is very unusual. It paves the way for a Government "call-in" - the action we've been calling for with this petition.

      The article is at: http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/ministers-intervene-in-row-over-green-space-development-plans.21345271

      Thank you for your support - and - keep the pressure up!! Send this petition on to folk you know...

      Ministers intervene in row over green space development plans

      CAMPAIGN: Former Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson signed books for young fans after a reading of the Gruffalo at the Kelvin Meadow. Picture: Steve Welsh In an unusual move, the Scottish Government has written to Glasgow City Council insisting it is kept abreast on plans to build homes on disused pitches in Kelvinside, in the city's west end.

    3. Julia Donaldson visits the Meadow...

      Julia Donaldson came down to the Meadow and joined in with one of our West End Festival events yesterday - Tam Dean Burn's reading of her Tales From Acorn Wood series. Afterwards, she said of the Meadow and Children's Wood: "This is such a great inner-city open space, a real 'secret garden' which serves as an open-air community centre and a place where kids can climb trees and discover nature. It's really heartening that the Scottish Government is taking local concerns seriously, and I wish the Campaign to save the North Kelvin Meadow every success."

    4. Meadow folk shortlisted in major national award...

      Emily and Douglas, chairs respectively of the Children's Wood and North Kelvin Meadow Campaign have been recognised as "unsung local heroes" in the Observer newspaper's Ethical Awards 2013.

      The overall winner is decided by public opinion. To take the campaign to save the land, and all spaces like this, into the national arena, vote for Emily and Douglas, before May 24th, at:


      Unsung local hero: vote now

      Vote now for your unsung local hero

    5. Reached 2,000 signatures
    6. Featured in The Times of London on Saturday

      We appeared in the Times of London on Saturday 29th, in an article written by Anna Burnside. The article focussed on the value of the Meadow for local outdoor learning, a supposed pillar of recent education policies both in Glasgow and nationally.

      Battle to save 'meadow' adopted by local community | The Times

      Jessica Cutts, aged 18 months, has a painting anorak. While other toddlers get busy in a plastic smock or apron, Jessica needs something that also offers serious heat retention. Jessica's mother, Emily, runs the Children's Wood, part of North Kelvin Meadow in Glasgow.

    7. Meadow receives prestigious award

      The Meadow and Children's Wood received a commendation in the Scottish Civic Trust "My Place" Awards. The Trust place particular emphasis on "place making" - where a space has been created that is welcomed by, and comes to be owned in the hearts of, the local community - the Meadow is surely such a space. See http://www.myplaceawards.org.uk

    8. George Square Protest - April 4th

      We will be staging a protest against the planning application in George Square on April 4th, 11.45-12.15. All of Glasgow's city councillors will be in City Chambers that day, so this is a great opportunity to show them how we feel. Come and make your voice heard!

    9. New video on child well-being and the Meadow/Wood

      We've created a short (3 minute) video showing how valuable the Wood and Meadow are for children.


      The Children's Wood

      Please watch and share our new short video of The Children's Wood and meadow, it captures the essence of what the community are trying to achieve in terms of a better future for children. The film is narrated by Tam Dean Burn, filmed by Shiona McCubbin and edited by Scott Given.

    10. Herald article and Frankie Boyle quote, Monday 18th

      Great article in the Herald today, p3, by Gerry Braiden, with a storming quote from Frankie Boyle. Thanks to both for your views on our campaign. We will be sending out a newsletter by email today or tomorrow, to those of you who agreed to our mailing you, with news on the campaign and ways that you can support us. If you're nearby, keep 10-12 on Sunday morning free - the 24th - big event on the Meadow...

    11. Reached 1,000 signatures
    12. New petition started...

      We have started a new petition because we wish to directly target the Scottish Government with our signatures. As you will see from the text above, should the planning application go against us, we want a very strong case for the Government to 'call in' this proposal.


    Reasons for signing

    • Bethany Cliff TRAVERSE CITY, MI
      • about 13 hours ago

      for our children!!!

      • about 13 hours ago

      Access to Open spaces is becoming rarer for our children.

      • about 15 hours ago

      This wonderful community will soon be home to my even wonderful sister and her family, therefore I wish for my niece to have access to this educationally rich environment.

      • about 16 hours ago

      I want my daughter to grow up playing across the road from where we live in a beautiful safe place, not in the street! Thank you

      • 21 days ago

      We MUST preserve green spaces in the urban environment - the Greed of rich property developers and the greasing of political hands can NOT be tolerated any more.


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