The Children’s Wood and North Kelvin Meadow make up the last wild space in the west-end of Glasgow. This space is vitally important for our local community. It is a place where people get together to walk dogs, picnic, garden and play. It’s a space where everyone can come together without the pressure to buy stuff. The Children’s Wood organise regular events and manage the land alongside the wider community. Our aim is to connect people to nature, raise aspirations and involve people in the management of the land. People are increasingly disconnected from nature and this is having serious mental and physical health implications. Our Dear Wild Place can redress the imbalance right in the heart of our community. Some children who’ve been to the land through local schools have said this is the first time they’ve been outside to play in months, or ever, and they loved it.
“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. “
Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo
The Children’s Wood and meadow can be accessed at any time of day or night by families/adults/carers/schools and all of the community. It is our land – community land – let’s make use of it. We’ve had birthday parties down here, and impromptu barbecues and picnics – there’s no need to book – just come down whenever you want. If you are coming with a school group please get in touch before hand. Please, leave the land as you found it and take away any litter.
Why the land is important?
Despite living in a society where materially life has never been so good, some things are getting worse and we’re noticing an increasing number of problems associated with modern living such as depression, anxiety, obesity, food poverty, the achievement gap and so on. Children as young as 8 are contacting services because they feel so stressed they can’t cope. We believe the Children’s Wood and North Kelvin Meadow can play a role in tackling some of these 21st Century problems and minimise the impact of the more challenging aspects of modern living. Being outside, even if it’s just to play and have fun, can reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem and attention span in children. The same is true for adults and for problems like depression; spending time in nature can be as effective as antidepressants in reducing symptoms. It’s a simple, free, activity with no side effects. The land and the work The Children’s Wood does around the land looks to facilitate community and bring people together and work together to manage the land. If you go over to our Research Centre you will see some of the research we like and studies that we have collaborated on with Glasgow University. Not only can the land help to alleviate negative feelings and thoughts but it can boost well-being and help people and our community to flourish.
Tips for using and looking after the land
- If you are planning to have a small fire, there is a fire pit on the meadow at the Clouston Street side of the land. You are welcome to use the fire pit but please bring your own firewood. DO NOT take branches from the trees on the land. Make sure the fire is completely out when you leave. Dogs and children use the land and could walk over or play at the fire pit.
- Please take any litter away with you, there is a bottle bank on Kelbourne Street for any glass bottles.
- Please make sure you take responsibility for your own risk assessment. We do check the land but the land is heavily used throughout the day. Things to check for will be the same for other parks and greenspaces: glass, dog foul and needles.
- Get in touch if you want to get involved. Activities to help with include: planting, gardening, maintenance, education or outdoor learning.