The Transforming Forth’s greenspaces project was part of greenspace scotland’s Tackling litter by re-purposing greenspaces programme supported by Zero Waste Scotland. The project had two strands to it – place improvement and litter monitoring/evaluation. The place improvements followed from greenspace scotland’s Community Placemaking approach and the litter monitoring was done using Zero Waste Scotland approaches.
The project action group met for the first time in August 2016 and worked with greenspace scotland and partners to August 2017 carrying out litter monitoring and community placemaking.
Through the community placemaking process an Action Plan was developed and a range of Quick Win actions which the group and partners could take forward straight away (with funding support from Zero Waste Scotland) were agreed and carried out.
The Action Plan also has a range of medium and long term recommendations which will be taken forward by local groups in Forth in particularly the newly established Community Development Trust.
Download the full project report here
Forth is a former mining village in South Lanarkshire, situated north East of Lanark surrounded by peatlands, plateau farmlands and forestry.
In the early 1900s Forth was a thriving village, but pit closures in the 1950-60s marked the beginning of a population move away from Forth. The populating is now just over 2000 with a wider area (Forth, Braehead, Wilsontown & Climpy) population of just under 4000.
During 2015 Forth and District has been involved in the Community Futures programme facilitated by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust Scotland (CRT Scotland). The Community Futures Programme is an approach to local community planning and sustainable community development. It enables communities to devise a community Action Plan which makes a case for the things that the community thinks are important and wishes to make happen.
The Action Plan has been developed through an extensive participatory process including community household surveys and stakeholder focus group interviews.The Action Plan process identified litter and fly-tipping as a significant problem in Forth but has not developed any steps to tackle these issues.
It should be noted that despite litter and fly-tipping being perceived as a problem “Flourishing Forth” was awarded a Silver gilt award by Beautiful Scotland in both 2014 and 2015 and were given 47 out of 50 points for community participation.
During the placemaking process it became clear that a lot of local people used a small woodland at the outskirts for the village for short walks due to its proximity and great views at either end of the path. As part of the Quick Wins the woodland was named (Wanderers Woodland) and signs have been created for the entrances by the local Wood carving group. South Lanarkshire Council (SLC) have been installed bins at either end of the path and will also put up the signs. An application to the Paths for All community fund for materials up improve the path was unsuccessful, but the local unpaid work team is committed to improving the existing path. The action group also organised a community litter clean-up event in May for the woodland and the adjacent Recreation Park.
The Recreation Park is a great resource for the village, but can be very windy. The action group wanted to plant some more trees to create shelter and install a picnic bench to complement the park benches already there. The trees were bought by the group and planted by South Lanarkshire Council with help from local school children. The Planet Earth group (part of Forth St.Pauls church) created colourful animal litterpicking costumes and used those at litter picks in th park and at the Gala day. The wood carving group are also carving two new signs for the park.
Bank Terrace – paved area on Climpy Road
The paved area across from the Bank Hall was considered an eyesore by local people and had no real function apart from rouge parking. The action group suggested to South Lanarkshire Council that a number of the paving slabs could be lifted and trees planted in the gaps and not only did SLC agree to this they also supplied the trees.
Meanwhile the group worked with volunteers from Forth Eco-project who built six wooden planters for the area and planted them up with a mix of annual flowers and perennials. One of the planters doubles up as a seat which comes in handy when locals are waiting for the fish man!
Gateway gardens in Forth
During the project the Forth Gateway Project group made the action group aware that different repairs where necessary at the sites the group are looking after. The unpaid work team agreed to carry out the repairs and the sites were surveyed by the group and SLC in order to buy the right materials. SLC also replaced a bench which had been vandalised and cleaned up the area around it.
We are the Forth
The community placemaking process made it clear that Forth lacks signposting and connections between its many projects, facilities and greenspaces. The carved wooden signs for key sites will go some way to address this, but the group also worked with a graphic artist to create a map of Forth with walking routes (in and around town) and all the Gateway gardens, seats, viewpoints and other important projects and sites like the Forth eco-project, Resource Centre, Forth St.Pauls and Bank Hall. The title of the map was taken from an earlier project which involved Forth people writing songs about their community. ‘We are the Forth’ was written by the p6 school children and goes “We’re not the first, we’re not the second, we’re not the the third, WE ARE THE FOURTH!”