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The Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP), supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has delivered over 70 projects between 2011 and 2018, celebrating, enhancing and engaging people with the special features of this Area of Great Landscape Value. The projects were built around four themes; to conserve the built and natural heritage of the area; to increase community participation and landscape connection; to improve access to and learning about the landscape and heritage of the Clyde and Avon Valley; and to provide new training opportunities in local heritage skills in this extraordinary part of the world.

PARTNERS Ten key partners formed the Partnership. They are South Lanarkshire Council, North Lanarkshire Council, Clydesdale Community Initiatives, Central Scotland Green Network, New Lanark World Heritage Site, CAVLP Heritage managed by Northlight Heritage, The Rural Development Trust, RSPB Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and Scottish Wildlife Trust. Projects are also delivered by a range of organisations, social cooperatives, community groups, individuals and volunteers.

VOLUNTEERING Volunteering was at the heart of CAVLP CAVLP worked with over 300 volunteers Volunteers helped deliver project outcomes and outputs

WORKSHOPS Over 1000 workshops delivered Delivering training for volunteers Supporting wider participation and access to heritage  


The geological history of the CAVLP area spans over 400 million years, from the Devonian times though to the ongoing fluvial processes associated with the rivers Clyde and Avon today. The history of the rivers forms a strong narrative that links the ancient and modern landscape of the area. The Devonian and Carboniferous rocks that underlie the region were formed by vast ancient river systems, which the area's sandstone and coal resources, of historical importance for the economic wealth of central Scotland, owe their origin to. Since the last Ice Age less than 20,000 years ago, it has been the erosive power of the rivers that have shaped the landscape.

CREATED BY WATER The dramatic gorges on the River Clyde, Avon, River Nethan and Moose Water and many minor burns, are a testimony to the re-configuring of the landscape by powerful streams charged with melt water during and after the retreat of the Ice Age glaciers. The dramatic restructuring of the drainage of the Clyde has arisen from the regions unique geographical setting in the lowlands of the central belt and is perhaps the best example of its kind in Scotland.

SHAPING OUR LANDSCAPE Fifteen geological sites surveyed. One major geology exhibition at New Lanark World Heritage Site.

BUILDING OUR COMMUNITIES The wide range of geological resources, such as clay, stone and coal have been exploited for millennia. People have used these materials to craft tools, bricks and stone structures for centuries. Brickworks were widespread in the area during the 19th and 20th centuries and were celebrated in the Make your Way and Capturing the Past projects.


The quality of the Clyde and Avon Valley owes much to the remaining gardens, parklands and woodlands relating to the big houses that dominated the landscape in the 19th century while the greatest concentration of orchards in Scotland are found in valleys, forming an important part of the character and heritage of the landscape. CAVLP has helped restore many of the important natural habitats of the area, removing non-native tree species and enhancing spaces for both people and wildlife to grow. At Chatelherault over 20ha of non-native trees have been removed. This has helped to restore the views of the designed landscape as well as improving habitat for native trees and wildlife.

   SHAPING OUR LANDSCAPE  24.29ha of Silvicultural thinning 88 trees selectively felled 22.5ha conifer plantation extracted 47.3ha invasive species removed 15788 native trees planted  60 bat/bird boxes installed 220 orchards mapped 23 orchards planted  almost 1000 orchard trees planted 14 orchards brought into active management  10 Cadzow Oaks surveyed for invertebrates  30 allotment plots created 21 new trails designed and delivered 20.3km of path improvements over seven routes 200km of river network opened 

IMPROVING OUR LANDSCAPE - TREES, FORESTS AND NON-NATIVE SPECIES A large number of non-native plants and trees, primarily plantation conifers, have been removed from the falls of Clyde Reserve, Chatelherault and Cartland Craigs, improving the landscape and providing greater opportunity for natural flora regeneration. The creation of new native woodland will benefit wildlife and contribute to a wider goal of native habitat creation throughout the Clyde and Avon valleys.


GROWING COMMUNITIES - ORCHARD PARTNERSHIP 207 individuals have received training in orchard management 22 orchards have been planted in local schools a community orchard has been created at Kirkfieldbank Blossom and Fruit day established as festivals of fruit growing in the valley The Clyde Valley Orchard Co-operative is a non-forprofit community enterprise, comprised of enthusiastic volunteers who work to grow and share the fruit growing heritage of an area which was once known as the “fruit basket of Scotland”. Dedicated to restoring and growing the orchards of the Clyde Valley by helping local people to access orchard management resources and advice for a range of economic, social and environmental benefits. CVOC has been supported by the Landscape Partnership through a number of projects within the Landscape Conservation Action Plan (LCAP). Each of these projects has an aim of reviving the Clyde Valley orchards, working with the Orchard Co-op.


The Clyde and Avon valleys are rich in archaeological sites and monuments dating from the Stone Age through to modern times, with each generation leaving its own legacy, shaping and forming the character of today’s landscape. The unique cultural heritage of the area has been informed by this legacy and artists have, for generations, been inspired by the areas beauty as well as its heritage. CAVLP has worked with volunteers to explore, record and celebrate the heritage of the area. Volunteers have been trained to record historical sites and landscapes, delve into archives, decipher maps to understand placenames as well as taking part in excavations of some of the country’s most important archaeological sites. 

  INVESTIGATING OUR LANDSCAPE  7 historic graveyards surveyed.  12 non-designated designed landscapes surveyed. The hunting estate of Chatelherault rediscovered. Over 100 new archaeological sites recorded including important horticulture elements of the landscape. 2 Iron Age sites excavated. 44 hands-on experimental archaeology workshops. 1 Medieval tile kiln built – over 100 tiles made by local children. Over 50 volunteers trained in archaeological survey and excavation. 

INVESTIGATING THE PAST  The Investigating the Past project focused on the archaeology of the Iron Age, Roman and Early Medieval period in the Clyde and Avon Valley. Two key sites were investigated; Black Hill and Castle Qua. Castle Qua was thought to be the Medieval stronghold of the Lockharts of Lee but it was a very strange site and didn't look like other Medieval sites in Scotland. There was also some early antiquarian written accounts of the site which suggested that it could be Iron Age date. Volunteers helped to excavate two trenches across the site revealing a large outer ditch, up to 3m in depth while the stone foundations of a structure was found in the interior of the site.  Very few artefacts were recovered during the excavation suggesting that it could be an Iron Age site. At Balck Hill volunteers and students from the University of Glasgow excavated five trenches across the site to investigate how the site was built, when it was first constructed and how lived on this enigmatic hill. Below the fort rampart, a large amount of pottery was discovered which will help precisely date this Iron Age site. The trenches also revealed a complex sequence of construction demonstrating that people were using this site for a long period of time and that they changed the way the site looked a number of times throughout its occupation. 


The Clyde and Avon valleys have inspired artists for centuries. Famous artists like William Turner visited in the area in the 19th century to paint the Falls of Clyde while contemporary artists like Alasdair Gray continue to be influenced by the landscape and its communities. CAVLP  has successfully engaged a great number of local people with their heritage through collaborative artworks, the exploration of heritage sites, and the creation of digital trails which are freely accessible on the CAVLP website. CAVLP has connected people with their local landscape and heritage in new ways and encouraged people to create their own artistic responses to their heritage and the landscape.  

   OUR INSPIRING LANDSCAPE  Over 100 works of art created. 55 art and heritage workshops delivered to over 1000 pupils in 11 primary schools and two secondary schools. 100 community heritage events engaging 701 participants. 360 people engaged through 7 artists in residencies. 6 Public Exhibitions.  83 installations across 5 communities. 16 songs written.

MAKE YOUR WAY The Make Your Way project provided opportunities for local people and visitors to the Clyde and Avon Valley to get to know the heritage of the area through new walking and cycling routes linking communities across the valleys. At the core of the project was a programme of artistled community workshops curated by resident artists.  In art installations, maps and educational resources were produced, and community workshops took place in Carluke, Glassford, Lanark, Larkhall and Stonehouse, as part of the project. Walking trails were created across each of these areas, with unique art installations created by resident artists to mark each of the trails and help people explore the heritage of each of the areas.  

   FRUITS OF THEIR LABOURS Through the Fruits of Their Labours project, the Lanarkshire Songwriters have collected oral histories from former local fruit growers and pickers and brought them to life through creating new orchard inspired songs with local schools, members of the public and the Songwriters. Songs include such gems as ‘Apple Day,’ ‘Dung!’ ‘The Wee Rab Rap,’ and ‘Walking Down to the Clyde,’ written by school pupils, inspired by the oral histories and stories.


Through play and self-directed learning in the natural environment, children have the opportunity to learn how to manage risks and most importantly how to use their own initiative to solve problems, communicate and co-operate with others as well as having loads of fun. The CAVLP project Growing up Wild was an outdoor learning and play project focusing on communities in and around the Clyde and Avon valleys linking schools with local woodlands and green spaces and increasing opportunities for outdoor learning. It helped to build teacher capacity to deliver Forest Schools and outdoor learning projects, connected local people to woodlands and green spaces within their communities for recreation and provided opportunities for children to play safely outdoors.   

OUR WILD LEARNING LANDSCAPE  38 people trained as Forest School leaders and assistants. 18 teachers completed Teaching in Nature training. 62 Growing up Wild holiday play sessions. 1604 attendees at Growing up Wild holiday play sessions. 5 outdoor after-school clubs supported. 5 community outdoor play clubs established. 9 Forest School projects established and supported. Lanarkshire's first outdoor play conference attended by 103 people  46 schools worked with across all projects engaging over 1000 children.

OUR WILD LEARNING LANDSCAPE  Teachers, parents and children have an increased understanding of local natural heritage as a resource, increasing their stewardship of natural places. Increased stewardship means that natural places stand a better chance of being conserved for the future.

Parents and teachers learned new skills and gained confidence in allowing and encouraging their children to play outdoors, and have more independence while playing. Participants indicated that they were now more likely to attend or organise regular natural play sessions with other families after attending the Growing up Wild play sessions.

In addition, parents noted that their children gained more confidence in playing outside, doing new activities, interacting and problemsolving with other children. Parents expressed that they were pleased to have an active, outdoor activity to do with their children.


Volunteering has been at the heart of the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership. One of the core themes of the project has been to increase skills and capacity amongst the local community to engage in the heritage of the landscape and to help local people preserve it for the future. From archaeology to wildlife survey, tree planting to construction, our projects have provided opportunities to train volunteers and community groups in a wide range of arts, heritage, conservation and horticultural skills.  

  OVER 300 VOLUNTEERS HAVE                        CONTRIBUTED TO: Wildlife reserve enhancement Path construction Tree planting  Orchard survey & planting  Fruit picking Juice making Archaeological excavation Archaeological survey GIS map making Place name research Artefact analysis Exhibition curation Heritage trail making Archaeological site enhancement Vegetation clearance Kiln building Wildlife surveys  Artworks Songwriting Oral history recording

CAVLP VOLUNTEER TESTIMONIES "Working with CAVLP on historical, archaeological and cultural projects has been a fantastic learning opportunity. As well as meeting new contacts, sharing resources and skills, the project has opened up new experiences and knowledge that I will use in furthering my involvement in historical research and promoting a greater awareness of our culture at a local level. This project has both inspired me and taught me new skills which I will now pass onto like-minded volunteers and encourage others to participate in highlighting our local heritage to a wider audience." - John


"My 1st time volunteering - Hard work -A sense of achievement - Friendly people- Hot chocolate and biscuit- Would I do it again? - Yes"- Linda “I have been a CAVLP Heritage volunteer for a few years now and I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. I’ve had lots of opportunities from map and place name research, surveying important local heritage and all the way through to digging archaeological sites. I’ve been to many talks, workshops and a couple of conferences. I’ve learned numerous new skills, more than I could have imagined. I’ve made new friends and discovered there is so much more to my local area than what I see on the surface. It has been a most rewarding time.”- Tookie I get a sense of achievement from it and have made some good friends from volunteering. With some groups it’s a real laugh, especially volunteering alongside the Clydesdale Community Initiatives team... Glorious Gardens gave me a whole new perspective on the landscape and it was really well worth doing, getting to see places I wouldn’t normally get to see.” - Ruth

The Clyde and Avon Landscape Partnership

Our Past, Our Present, Our Future

The Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership: Our Past, Our Present, Our Future  

This booklet details many of the great achievements of the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership Programme over the past 5 years.

The Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership: Our Past, Our Present, Our Future  

This booklet details many of the great achievements of the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership Programme over the past 5 years.