On the western edge of town, sandwiched between College Milton South and Peel Park Industrial Estates, and a short walk from Hairmyres Station, is a little hidden gem – a patch of woodland which provides a much needed refuge for people and wildlife. Originally a quarry, the land was backfilled using the spoil excavated from building the new town and planted up with forestry trees. For over 50 years the woods had been neglected. The trees were left to grow tall and weak, and the overgrown paths became a playground for quad bikers.
Three years ago the East Kilbride Community Trust purchased the land on behalf of the community and since then we have been working tirelessly to transform the woods into a safe and accessible space for local people to enjoy. Clamping down on anti-social behaviour and quad bike use, trimming back vegetation, and clearing years of litter with volunteer groups, the woodland is now being managed in a way that is beneficial for both the environment and the public.
Working in partnership with Forestry Commission Scotland the Community Trust are now carrying out long-overdue forestry works and upgrading the path network throughout to make K-Woodlands an accessible and safe place for people to visit – providing an opportunity to escape the urban environment and reconnect with nature.
In addition, EKCT staff members are running 200+ FREE events throughout the year to raise the profile of the woods and encourage the residents of East Kilbride to explore their newly acquired greenspace. From weekly Health Walks to Bushcraft Survival Skills, there’s something for all ages and abilities.
EKCT’s Community Woodland Engagement Officer, Stephen Porch, says “We’re at a really exciting stage in the K-woodlands story, where we are improving access, managing the woods in a way which benefits wildlife, and providing a whole load of opportunities for people to get involved and enjoy the great outdoors – I truly believe we are paving the way to a safer, happier and healthier community”
If you would like to attend any K-Woodlands events, click on the home page or search K-Woodlands on Facebook and Eventbrite, or to volunteer e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.