Urban Communities Section Viewpark Portfolio
BEAUTIFUL SCOTLAND COMPETITION
Introduction Viewpark is a small urban development north-east of Uddingston and centered between Tannochside and Bellshill. It was originally built to house miners and their families who worked in the local coal mines. Viewpark then grew steadily over the years to support housing demand created in the area by the thriving local iron and steel Industry. Viewpark is now home to a wide demographic of the population and additional modernised houses are being built in the area. This has not only increased the population numbers for the area but has also raised the community spirit in the area. Many of the people who live in Viewpark are part of, support or participate in community projects to improve the immediate environment in which they and their families live. Individually these projects are small steps but together they are the changes that will continue to improve our community.
Horticultural Achievement Strathclyde Business Park Strathclyde Business Park was established in 1990 and is now home to some of Strathclydeâ€™s largest businesses and organisations. It is built over 155 acres of beautifully landscaped parkland. The grounds of the Business Park are constantly maintained to a high standard with colourful and seasonal plants/shrubbery being introduced throughout the year. Many of the shrubs, trees, heathers and bedding plants were chosen as they can be found in Scotlandâ€™s natural environment. There are also many water features throughout the park which create a peaceful environment and also encourage local wildlife from the surrounding woodlands in the park.
Viewpark Gardens These gardens are the obvious favourite by everyone who lives in Viewpark. They are a popular facility used by the local schools for education purposes, residents for recreational reasons and brides wanting a beautiful background for the photos of their big day. The Gardens include large green houses in which you will find an extensive range of tropical plants, cacti and also succulent plants. There are mature gardens areas, a Japanese garden, a highland garden, miniature waterfalls and ornamental ponds. The Gardens are also home to many species of Scotlandâ€™s wildlife which include a large variety of birds, butterflies, insects, dragonflies, squirrels and amphibians.
The introduction of decorative planters, flower beds and the recent improvements to the green spaces, recreational and play areas seems to be having a knock on effect in Viewpark. Many of the Viewpark residents have always taken pride in their gardens and kept them clean, tidy and well presented, but more and more residents are improving their gardens, some just to keep them simple and easy to maintain but others excel themselves and put in a huge amount of time and effort resulting in some very beautiful and individual gardens. This is encouraged by North Lanarkshire Council who hold an annual Best Garden in the Area Competition with the winner receiving prizes and recognition in the local papers.
Public Places The introduction of dog foul bins, more frequent street cleaning, litter picking and 3 tier planters in various public areas around Viewpark the appearance of the public areas has greatly improved. The people using these areas seem to appreciate the new improvements and are helping keep the areas clean and free from vandalism. These areas are also being improved by the donation of several flower arrangements in the whisky barrels which were donated by a local whisky distillery and planted and maintained by volunteers from the local community. The flowers and plants used are specifically selected for their durability and are able to flourish in the Scottish Climate.
First Stop Shop
Burnhead District Hall
Environmental Responsibility Historic Douglas Support Throughout the generations the glen has been part of the Douglas/Hamilton/Campbell Estates. There was originally a large mansion house standing in the centre of the Glen but this burned down in the 1930s. The extensive grounds that formed the estate are made up of landscaped gardens, ornamental ponds, pathways and avenues all leading back to the site of the original house. These are still visible today but have now become overgrown. These pathways and avenues are in the process of being redeveloped with the help of local community groups, Central Scotland Forest Trust and North Lanarkshire Council. A local conservation group formed by concerned residents from Viewpark have been working continuously over the last decade to protect and preserve the original features and regenerate the areas used by the local community. They hope that in the future some of this estate can be developed into a community and nature park and promote the history attached to the estate. During the months of June and July 2012 an exhibition of the history connected to this estate and the surrounding area is on display at the Motherwell Heritage Centre.
Recycling Centre The main recycling and waste disposal centre close to Viewpark is at Remma Road, Bellshill. This provides local residents with the facility to dispose of unwanted items such as old TVs, old white goods, old carpets and other large items of household rubbish. This helps to cut down on fly tipping in the local area. This facility has been greatly improved since the last entry into the competition with the introduction of a large state of the art recycling facility and compacter.
Future Projects The site on the right is the proposed location for our next community project. With help from North Lanarkshire Council and the local community the proposed plan is to develop the proposed site into a number of allotments which will be available to Viewpark residents, community groups and local schools in the area. This would make better use of the proposed piece the area of ground, educate the local school children regarding horticulture and growing your own food as well adding to the available recreational facilities for the local community.
Burnhead Church’s Hidden Garden These pictures are of Burnhead Church’s Hidden garden being developed. This project is being carried out by the Burnhead Church Garden Committee and members of the church’s congregation. The Committee’s vision for the garden is to develop a garden that is peaceful, tranquil and a relaxing area for the community to use for recreation purposes.
Community Participation 2010 Future Project
Banyan Play Area This fantastic new play park was our future project in a previous entry to this competition and we are pleased that it is now complete and has been a successful addition to our community. It was the result of collaboration between the Viewpark Conservation Group, the Bellshill and District Community Forum and North Lanarkshire’s Play Services Team. The play park was designed specifically to the needs of the local children who expressed what they would like in a play park during previously successful Pop Out and Play sessions held in the area. Funding was provided by the Environmental Key Fund, WREN and North Lanarkshire Council.
2011 – Project Completion play park opening day
Viewpark Gala day Revival
2012 saw the revival of the Viewpark Gala Day for the first time in since 1988 and although the weather was typically Scottish it was a great day with the Viewpark community turning out in their hundreds. In fact it was such a successful day North Lanarkshire Council have agreed to once again being an annual event once again. The Gala day was only possible due to the hard work and dedication from members of the community and North Lanarkshire Council. The funding was provided from a variety of external sources including fundraising nights organised by the Gala committee and donations from local businesses.
Viewpark Church Community Cafe
This recently opened community facility has been a great success since its very first day, it provides an excellent environment for the local community to meet and socialise.
Jimmy Johnston Memorial Garden This memorial garden was opened in August 2011 on the former site of Jimmy Johnstonâ€™s primary school St Columbaâ€™s. The Memorial garden was the result of fundraising and a lot of hard work by the Jimmy Johnston Memorial Committee who also managed to contribute a large donation towards Motor Neurone Research
Fund Raising Almost all of the work carried out by the community groups in Viewpark is voluntary and much of the finances to fund our projects are raised by a variety of community based fundraising events. Additional funding and resources has been provided by external bodies such as North Lanarkshire Council, WREN, the Environmental Key Fund and a large number of local businesses.
Above: Community fundraising at Bellshill Fair Day. The community based Viewpark Conservation Group raising funds by selling home-made bird boxes, garden plants and a tombola of donated prizes from a variety of local businesses.
Above: Just a small selection of the prizes donated for the raffles to raise money for the revival of the Viewpark Gala day.
9th August 2012
Urban Community Category
Meeting place/Minibus pick up: (A)
Viewpark Church/Community Tearoom
Tannochside Sign & Roundabout
Market Place & Surrounding Area
Burnhead Parish Church Gardens
Banyan Play Area & Woodlands
(G71 5 BH)
JohnPaul 2nd School & Local Businesses
Strathclyde Business Park
Jimmy Johnston Memorial
Return to Viewpark Gardens: (A)
Contact for the day:
Hospitality and history brief of local area.
Grace McNeill Viewpark Conservation Group