Going Ape in Pollok Park?

On a walk around Pollok Park a few weeks back, Frances and I stopped at a seat in a section of the park behind the Burrell Collection. As we were talking, I overheard a couple of people behind us talking, and glanced around to see they were referring to what seemed like planning proposals. Talk of ‘buildings’, but couldn’t really gather too much without starting to look obvious. I made a mental note to see what it was about, and then proceeded to forget all about it.

Recently (not that long after our walk to be honest) we were on a break in the Trossach’s, and visited The David Marshall Lodge Visitor Centre, and I saw that a “Go Ape” rope and tree site had been setup there (Grr. Their website has one of those squiffy perspective maps that shrinks this part of the country). I had a poke around the facility there and had great some flashbacks to some of the orienteering and building exercises I took part in when I was in the Scouts. Including going down a long rope/zip slide.

What’s the connection? Well I’ve just discovered (via G41’s excellent site) that there is a proposal to build such a facility in Pollok Park, and that Glasgow council are asking for public feedback on the proposal.

I need to give it a bit more thought before I send back my comments. On the one had I think it’d be great in a predominantly inner city area to get folk out and about doing interesting things. It’d also create some employment opportunities, and increase awareness about the park – which I think is frequently forgotten by many Glaswegians.

But on the other hand, I can’t help but feel it could rather ruin the tranquility of that part of Pollok Park – which is largely woodland and paths that are a real pleasure to walk through. It would be somewhat ruined by having children wizzing about overhead (The ‘Go Ape’ experience is not exactly quiet). Speaking selfishly too (as somebody who makes heavy use of the paths in that particular area), I’m also rather worried it may reduce the number of running options that are open to me and the many other runners that use the park through the year.

The deadline for feedback is next Monday (15th October). Given the word only just seems to be creeping out (and I’ve seen no obvious posters of this at all in or around the park), I’m not impressed the council are giving park users, or local residents, a proper opportunity to state their views. I wonder what one of our local councillors, who I gather sits on the planning committee, has to say on the matter?

Update – See www.savepollokpark.com for the local residents response, including details of the public meeting on 22nd January, 2008

See Also:

* For Facebook users, I’ve also created a discussion on the Glasgow Network. Goodness, using Facebook for something constructive? Who’d have thunk it.
* The Herald were on the case on 1st October.

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