Award-winning volunteers work their magic on local woodland

An award-winning group of volunteers in Glasgow have upgraded a local woodland with the help of one of our grants.

Cassiltoun Housing Association received a £3000 Community Active Travel Grant to further develop its improvement work in the community, making paths more accessible whilst raising awareness of the routes. 

The grant, supported by Transport Scotland, allowed Castlemilk Park volunteers to build upon the success of an earlier project and install more signage highlighting key active travel routes and local amenities.

Cassiltoun Housing Association was just announced as the Social Housing Association Walking Champion in the first Scottish Walking Awards, and this project aims to encourage the community to explore the woodlands on their doorstep.

Volunteers have installed signage, improved the outlook of the area, signposted key local amenities and responded to local aspirations – all to give local people and visitors a nice area to explore.

Stuart Whittaker, Community Woodland Officer at Cassiltoun Housing Association, said:

At the heart of all of our work is the local community. They are involved in every step of the process and we look to bring their ideas to life through feedback and discussion. 
Upgrading the woodland has seen its challenges especially during lockdown as we have had to work differently due to the restrictions – sometimes we would have jobs that usually require a few pair of hands; but had to be done alone. 
The path routes themselves aren’t strenuous or very long.
They range from about 1km to 1.5km with our main aim being to get people using the area and feeling the health and wellness benefits from spending time outside.

Cassiltoun Housing Association Castlemilk Park Volunteers was formed in 2018 with a diverse group of volunteers ranging between 10 and 70 years old, with one common interest – helping the local community engage with the woodland area. 

The project has opened up new places for people to walk with many locals unaware of what they had on their doorstep due to the lack of signage. 

Stuart added: “We have seen an influx of people already using the woodland park since we began this project, and we are delighted with the outcome – it is great to see the hard work paying off.
“There are around 25 to 30 volunteers who take part in all of our project work, with locals and several community groups helping out as and where they can. 
“Our volunteers are an extremely diverse group with people from all over the world – one of our key members is registered blind. Yet, he still works to improve the local area and give something back which is pretty inspiring. 
“The project also involved the Youth Advisory Panel which has helped youngsters between 15 and 25 years old learn invaluable skills and develop their own ideas for their own community.
“Volunteers, and the community, are involved at every stage from the planning and implementation right through to reporting on design work.”

Our Community Paths grants are supported by NatureScot, Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government.