The Children’s Wood and North Kelvin Meadow Bulletin

Spring Clean: The Children’s Wood and North Kelvin Meadow have arranged for a Community Clean up on the NKM site and adjacent streets for Sunday the 27 April from 11am to 2pm. Community Safety Services are providing a skip which can also be used by participating residents to get rid of unwanted household clutter, not fridges or bulky items please. Refuse Bags and gloves will be provided. This is a Community Clean up event and we invite you to help out. Meet at the Shed in the Meadow at 11am. This is a chance to clean up the site but your street as well and tidy the hoose! Refreshments will be provided.

Dog Fouling: We applaud the efforts of the majority of dog walkers to proactively clear up messes left by the minority, as well as their own dogs. In an attempt to address the issue of the minority we have asked Community Safety Services for help. This is a public health issue, not just of nuisance value, we need to treat this with not just disgust but try to effect a change in behaviour. Community Safety Services will now visit the site – without warning – and will fine those in charge of aberrant dogs £40. We would of course much prefer that owners take responsibility for picking up their dog’s waste as the majority do but unfortunately a minority don’t. Signs have had limited impact notwithstanding the provision of doggy disposal bags and bins. It is an offence under the 2003 Act with fixed penalty not to clean up after your dog. The biggest threat to public health from dog excrement is toxocariasis – an infection of the roundworm toxocara canis. Symptoms include eye disorders, vague ache, dizziness, nausea, asthma and, in extremely rare cases, seizures/fits. In particular it is extremely dangerous to pregnant women, children and the elderly. Thank you again to the majority.

What you can do:

     -If you feel safe, politely but firmly encourage guilty owners you meet to clear up after their dog.  Offer them one of your

       bags if you happen to be carrying spares

.   – If you don’t feel that you can approach someone, contact the Council on 287 1058 or email

       epscleanglasgow.gov.uk or contact us, see websites below, to report an incident or an area where you encounter dog fouling.

     – Encourage folk not to tie full pooh bags to the trees or fence, as magpies take great glee in opening them up and spread the contents .Ask

       them to use the bins

    

The Children’s Wood Project

Great News! The Children’s Wood is a joint winner of the Greener Together Awards 2014. There will be a wooden plaque designed by Scottish artist Kate Ives, arriving to the Children’s Wood very soon. The award recognises all of our efforts to create a greener and more sustainable future for this area. Well done everyone, and thank you for your continued support.

We have many events coming up soon, including the upcoming West-end Festival in June and our work with 14 local schools: Every Saturday Outdoor Learning Club, 10-12pm.  The classes encourage children to build dens, work with tools and play and learn outside. All leaders are qualified in some level of Forest School Training. FREE. Every Wednesday –  Outdoor playgroup, 10-12pm.  All ages of children are welcome to join our Scottish Pre School Play Association a registered parent led playgroup, £1 to pay this includes a snack; On May 4th 11-2pm.a  Freecycle event, bring along and take away for free.  Free is the act of giving away, good quality, good condition usable items – and giving them a second life. Age range: infant to teens in Kelbourne Street Scout Hall.  There will be family yoga in the Children’s Wood at 1pm.too.  We’ll be collecting for the Maryhill food bank, so please bring along tins, jars, packets and beverages – see the event flyer on our website for more information. All goods can be dropped off from 9:30am.

Want to help your meadow and wood?

We need volunteers to help with running community and schools events.  We want to hear from any older people who would like to get involved with running activities which encourage cross generational activity.  Do you have experience of managing woodland? if so, we’d like to hear from you. Or, please get in touch with any ideas or feedback. The Children’s Wood Project Committee recognises it needs to reflect community aspiration in its activities but also address issues and concerns timeously. To further this we intend to insert a new consultative section in our website headed “Friends of the Children’s Wood Project.” In that section we will seek ideas, opinion, concern and complaint. We want to consult community about our activities on the meadow and meet community aspiration resolving any difficulties which might arise. We are considering a membership idea for the project. Meantime please do not hesitate to express your views and concerns. It is important that community wishes which reflect the Wild Space identity within the Meadow are promoted. We want, and need a system of robust, consultative governance supported by regular news bulletins meantime do email us at thechildrenswood@gmail.comuntil the new section is in place.

 

North Kelvin Meadow –

The various groups that use the land have all got off to another busy start for the year. This time of year also tends to be the busiest for maintaining the land as we plant up ready for the summer. Five new patches on the far side of the meadow have been turned over and wild flower meadow seed sown. The plan is shortly to sow wildflower friendly grass seed in the middle muddy area following the public consultation on the temporary fence. Finances are showing an unhealthy overdrawn balance of some £-540 currently. See our website northkelvinmeadow.com for a full update and how to donate.

 

       

Volunteers wanted – email us on childrenswood@gmail.com.  Please share this bulletin with neighbours and friends

 

Greener Together Awards 2014

We are delighted to be one of the winners of the Greener Together Awards 2014.  The Children’s Wood volunteers have been working to help our community to live a greener and more sustainable life.  We’ve been encouraging families and the community to get outdoors onto North Kelvin Meadow and The Children’s Wood (in Maryhill/North Kelvin area of Glasgow) all year round!

North Kelvin Meadow and The Children’s Wood is a piece of land (roughly 3 acres) in one of the most unequal areas of the UK. The land was previously playing fields and tennis courts and is now a meadow and wood, with over 480 trees. It is a wild space – children can play freely and different groups coexist. Nothing else like it exists in our area.

 

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The project

We have no paid members of staff. The project was initiated by a group of parents wanting to save North Kelvin Meadow and the Children’s Wood from development – joining forces with the already existing North Kelvin Meadow Campaign – so that children could continue to have a place to play and the community could connect with each other and nature.

Since then, the project has grown much bigger.  At our first community event, which happened in the pouring rain, 70 people showed up.   We think this demonstrated the need and want in people to connect with their community and to be outside.

Talking to schools we found that very few of them have sustainable options to deliver the outdoor curriculum – a required target by the government and local council  – and so the Meadow and Wood provide a great option for schools. Many of the local schools only have concrete playgrounds and so some head teachers have said that they highly value having a place within walking distance of their school. Some have commented that our activities cut down on the red tape associated with getting outside, and increase their chances of being outside more.

Our volunteers have been working with 14 local schools – including 2 special need schools (all of these schools are within walking distance to the Meadow and Wood) to help them deliver the outdoor curriculum; we’ve started an outdoor playgroup, an outdoor learning club (run by 13 volunteers who have some level of Forest School training) and a growing group dedicated to growing fruit and veg on the land. We’ve also put on hundreds of events for the community including nature events and the West-end Festival.  Our Patron, local actor and dad, Tam Dean Burn has read many stories including the Gruffalo to thousands of children in the wood. Tam is set to bicycle across Scotland to read all of Julia Donaldson’s books this summer as part of the Commonwealth Games legacy.

Our volunteers not only include parents, but also we have at least 6 teachers from different local schools involved in the planning and running of events – one local teacher has organised an Easter club on the Meadow over the holidays. There are also teenagers and grandparents who get involved plus many more community members.

 

Why bother?

One of the main drivers behind our activities is that over the past few decades there have been increasing restrictions on children’s freedom to play and learn outside, and this is breeding a generation of children who cannot cope with setbacks, who are obese, unhealthy, unhappy and who don’t value nature as much as they do materialistic things like shopping or money.

Getting people outside more and encouraging them to take part in activities with others in the local community will help to build resilience, happiness and health.  We also believe very strongly that encouraging local schools and the community to use their local green space – rather than hiring buses or driving – is a good model for living more sustainably.

Paradoxically, at the same time as there being a decline in the opportunities for children to play outside and access nature, we have seen a growing body of research demonstrating how valuable local green space is to the healthy development of children and for the long term future of a society – some say that green spaces are worth at least 30 billion per year in health and welfare

We have been involved in a study in partnership with Glasgow University’s School of Psychology looking at the potential relationship between children spending time in green spaces and attention for learning.  The study showed that children’s attention span was significantly higher after playing in the Meadow and Wood than after being in the classroom or in their concrete playground.    So, spending time in nature and specifically in natural surroundings such as the Children’s Wood may help children to focus better, and in doing so may help them to learn better.

Many of the children who have come along to the Meadow through the schools and community events say that this is the first time they have been outside to play in nature for months – or ever. Being inside seems to be very common these days.  We think the problem for parents, schools and communities is that they are battling against the current individualistic and materialistic culture. This is the culture of more, with a strong focus on the self or individual – both of which undermine well-being. Holding materialistic values – for fame, fortune or looks – also undermines living a greener and more sustainable life.

Psychologists have found that changing values can positively change behaviour and this is what we are hoping to achieve with our activities. By increasing the value of nature and the feeling of community we believe that indirectly people will feel happier, healthier and act with more compassion to each other and the environment.

Winning the Greener Together Award, 2014 validates what we are doing to create a sustainable and greener future for our community. Not only this, but it also motivates us to do even more to help create a better future for our community.

Thanks to Scottish artist Kate Ives for creating the Greener Together Award plaque for the Children’s Wood in the photo above. You can also find out about other winners on the Greener Scotland website: http://www.greenerscotland.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Schedule for Nature Festival

Schedule for Nature Festival

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Nature Festival

Nature Festival

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Outdoor Play session

Outdoor Play session

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Outdoor Learning Club

Outdoor Learning Club

Every Saturday starting 8th of March

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Forest School Sessions

Forest School Sessions

9th March