Power to the people … campaigners win fight to save flower beds in Victoria Park

By Ellen Thomson at

Victoria Park’s threatened flower beds have been saved from the chop.

Glasgow city council had proposed grassing over 28 beds in the central ornamental section of the park.

The move was part of a drive to save thousands of pounds from the city’s parks budget.

Victoria Park flower beds

Cuts: the city council needs to save thousands from its parks budget

But a campaign to save the beds was led by the Friends of Victoria Park (FoVP) and Whiteninch community council.

More than 200 people held a peaceful protest in the summer against the plans.

The city has now agreed to spare the features – and instead plant hardy ornamental shrubs such as dwarf hydrangeas and miniature rhododendrons.

The new planting regime will save the city council £21,000 a year and cost just £2000 a year to maintain.

The decision has been welcomed by the local community.

Elizabeth Brown, vice chairperson of the Friends, told of her delight on the FoVP’s Facebook page.

Victoria Park and flower beds

Battle: local people launched a campaign to save the beds

She said: “We would like to thank the three councillors for Victoria Park Ward, Ade Aibinu, Feargal Dalton and Maggie McTernan who all gave us their support.

“We would also thank Land Services staff for looking at this issue again as we know they are under enormous pressure to reduce their costs.

“We would also like to thank everyone who supported the campaign and turned out to our demonstration in June.

“It is still sad to lose the colourful annual planting on 28 of the 59 flower beds to save just £23,000 a year, but this option at least means we will keep the formal historic layout of the park.

Victoria Par and flower beds

Landscape: the central flower beds in all their glory. Photo: courtesy of FoVP

“It gives us the heart to press on with our efforts to obtain funding for a fernery at the Fossil Grove which has been going downhill since annual planting stopped almost a decade ago.”

The central flower beds and its benches even featured in a classic episode of the cult BBC comedy Still Game.

In ‘Hot Seat’, the attempts of main characters Jack and Victor to claim the best benches were repeatedly thwarted.

During discussions with Land Services, it emerged that 80 percent of the colourful annual planting that was done in the city has been lost over the last 10 years.

Still Game

Comedy: TV’s ‘Still Games’ used the location in one of its episodes

* See here to read FoVP’s Facebook page