Just over a year ago I photographed Andrea and wrote a story about her and her work with The Children’s Wood in Glasgow. In short, the Children’s Wood was developed by local residents on unused land and, as part of North Kelvin Meadow, grew into something quite amazing as a community resource. Just recently the land has come under threat again as plans to build housing on North Kelvin Meadow were approved. Under the photo, you can read the story about Andrea and her contribution to her community.
We start by crossing the River Kelvin and dipping a toe into Maryhill. Some call this area North Kelvinside, where residential developments of the late 19th century crossed the river and were established on old estates, just south of the growing burgh of Maryhill.
A couple of minutes walk takes us to the Children’s Wood where along with numerous other volunteers, Andrea helps children to have fun in the outdoors of their city. Work and learn, explore and play in a small patch of wild within an urban environment. Here, Andrea run classes in outdoor skills for children with groups coming from all over Maryhill and beyond.
Yet the Children’s Wood sits within contended land. Part of North Kelvin Meadow, local residents established an area for the community from old disused playing fields. For many locals, it is an important open green space comprising allotments, a community orchard, a wild meadow and a wood.
The Council want to sell off the meadow and build houses. Local residents want to keep their wild green land. They are opposing the Council, fighting to keep their much-loved – and used – space.
The Children’s Wood itself sits on an old tennis court, where nature seeps in, takes back and re-establishes itself from the built and the man-made. Outdoors, next to the tenements of Maryhill, children can run free, play free, climb trees and build dens. They learn skills known to previous generations of children but sometimes little used in today’s measured childhood experiences. They plant, cook on open fires, tell stories, look for birds and flowers, use tools to cut and to build, create and play.
In this little bit of wild in urban Maryhill, kids have fun and leave with experiences that will remain with them throughout life.
More info: The Children’s Wood Website