New lease of life for wood­land

East Kilbride News - - COMMUNITY POLICING - Nicola Find­lay

Foot­fall at East Kil­bride Com­mu­nity Trust’s (EKCT) K-Wood­lands is on the up thanks to en­gage­ment with the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

Over 3200 in­di­vid­u­als have vis­ited and taken part in the wood­land en­gage­ment pro­gramme packed full of events and ac­tiv­i­ties.

Prior to this, only 50 vis­its were recorded in 2016/17.

Sup­ported by Forestry Com­mis­sion Scot­land, EKCT’s wood­land en­gage­ment of­fi­cer role aims to en­cour­age the lo­cal com­mu­nity to visit and make use of their lo­cal green spa­ces.

Stephen Porch, who cur­rently is in the role, works with a range of com­mu­nity groups, schools and the pub­lic on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, pro­mot­ing events and at­tract­ing ex­ist­ing and new users to EKCT’s K-Wood­lands.

Last year, pop­u­lar events and ac­tiv­i­ties or­gan­ised by Stephen in­cluded Bark­ing Mad in part­ner­ship with Dogs Trust and the re­cent tree plant­ing event with free trees pro­vided by the Wood­land Trust, which at­tracted over 250 peo­ple.

Stephen said:“His­tor­i­cally these woods were ne­glected and for­got­ten and be­came a bit of a haven for anti-so­cial be­hav­iour, but by hav­ing a pres­ence on the site, rein­tro­duc­ing some wood­land man­age­ment and en­gag­ing the lo­cal com­mu­nity through an ex­cit­ing pro­gramme of events, we have made the woods a safe and re­lax­ing place for ev­ery­one to en­joy and re­con­nect with na­ture.”

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