Ravenscraig woodlands plans to be opened to public
A significant area of woodlands on one of Europe’s largest regeneration sites could be set for a new lease of life.
Ravenscraig is home to dense woodlands, which are currently inaccessible. Now, plans have been drawn up which would see the woodlands opened up as a place of natural beauty for the public to enjoy.
The developers of Ravenscraig are working alongside North Lanarkshire Council and Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT) on the proposals. Under the plans, an accessible green corridor would be developed between Craigneuk with Carfin with surfaced paths and picnic areas to encourage people to enjoy and make use of the woodland area, and management works to ensure the health of the woods for generations to come.
A community consultation event was held last week at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility, with the public giving their feedback on proposals. The next stage will see a management plan agreed ahead of funding being sought.
Nick Davies, director of Ravenscraig Ltd, said: “The woodlands at Ravenscraig are one of North Lanarkshire’s best-kept secrets. However, at the moment the woodlands are unmanaged and inaccessible.
“We want to change that, which is why we’re working closely with North Lanarkshire Council and CSGNT. With significant regeneration already underway at Ravenscraig, we want to incorporate the woodlands into our plans – opening them up and transforming them into somewhere safe for all the family to enjoy.”
Jonathan Speed, senior project manager at North Lanarkshire Council, said: “Green spaces which allow residents and visitors to enjoy the natural environment are an important part of the regeneration of the Ravenscraig site.
“The council is working on a public park at the heart of the site, offering paths, play and sports facilities and quiet spaces for everyone to enjoy, so conservation of the existing woodlands will complement that development. The woodlands project is a good example of different organisations working in partnership for the benefit of the whole area.”
CSGNT’s mission is to drive forward the delivery of Europe’s largest greenspace initiative, the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) and Mike Batley, development officer at CSGNT, explained the importance of projects such as the woodland improvements at Ravenscraig.
He said: “Woodland projects like these provide opportunities to engage communities in the development, management and use of locally important assets that create a place to feel good in an environment which supports healthy lifestyles and well-being.
“It is fantastic to have local people and businesses backing us and we are really looking forward to giving the woodlands a new lease of life.”
Ravenscraig has undergone major investment in the last decade, with a number of success stories including the creation of the sports facility, a state-of-the-art college campus, a pub restaurant and hotel, as well as hundreds of homes.
Earlier this year, a new Masterplan was given the green light by planning officials as the developer aims to build a community where people can live, work and play.
The Masterplan reflects the needs of the modern community with a focus on high-quality housing, transport links, education and employment opportunities, and space to exercise, play and safely enjoy the outdoors.