Shoots of recovery … volunteers create a Green Garden on wasteland by the Clyde

By Richard Baynes at

On a derelict plot in the shadow of some of the biggest industrial buildings in Glasgow, a welcoming green space is coming to life thanks to a bunch of hardy volunteers.

The land next to the Heart of Scotstoun Community Centre on Balmoral Street was once part of the Albion Motors works, whose giant sheds still loom over nearby South Street.

Green Garden volunteers

Creating space: volunteers Alasdair MacDonald and June Mitchell at the Green Garden

For years it was weed-strewn open space, and a £300,000 plan in 2015 to turn it into a community garden fell through after funding could not be settled.

But now the volunteers based at the community centre have scraped together money, tools and materials to do it themselves and bit by bit are turning the two-and-half acre site into green and pleasant land.

The area dubbed The Green Garden will have space for growing food and flowers, outdoor exercise, socialising, and memorial trees for members of the local community.

So far the bare hard-standing and rubble patches have been replaced with topsoil, mounds have been landscaped and paths have been laid out.

Green Garden volunteers

Helping hand: volunteer Helen Tracey waters the plants at the new community green space

A shed has been installed, planting is well under way around the edges of the site, and raised tubs have been planted out.

Local volunteer June Mitchell, one of the leaders of the project, said: “It’s taken a lot of determination from the team to see this through.

“People have been so generous with their time and we have been delighted that big organisations have stepped in and helped us out.

‘A real challenge’

“Thank you to all!”

Volunteer Steve Nelson is a retired landscape designer who came up with the blueprint for the garden.

He said: “I am really pleased to be involved in the design and implementation of the Green Garden at the Heart of Scotstoun.

Green Garden volunteers

Determination: June Mitchell praises the local team for getting the project off the ground

“It is a real challenge to convert a piece of derelict industrial wasteland into a fantastic community garden, but the enthusiasm for the project and the imaginative ideas of local people will ensure the successful creation of a valuable green space for everyone to enjoy.”

Members of a local Green Gym group have been working on the site along with the rest of the volunteers, and local people have also donated a large shed, water butts, hard landscaping materials, and trees to help the site.

Green Garden volunteers

Support: the garden has had help from local groups and big organisations

City Building and Tough Construction Company gave expertise, materials and staff time, and the garden has also had boosts from Lloyd’s Bank corporate volunteers, Community Safety Glasgow, Volunteering Matters Action Earth, the city council’s Garscadden/Scotstounhill Area Partnership, Community Safety Glasgow and the Community Payback Team.