Park Drainage Report

Inadequate drainage is a big problem in the Park, making the ground very waterlogged in places and also allowing water to run over the paths which then freezes in winter, hazardous for walkers. The Volunteers have decided to make fixing the Park drainage a priority.

So far, we have used a metal detector to find and mark the drains that exist in the Park, and have also mapped them:

Park drains

Then, starting at the Maryhill Road entrance, we have been working our way up the Lime Avenue, digging out the drains and clearing or digging new gullys along the sides of the path. Some drains are in very good condition:

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Others have been replaced with steel plates which have rusted in place, so we have drilled holes in the plates to allow drainage:

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UntitledThese should still drain well, providing they’re regularly kept clear of detritus. Other drains have been blocked with pieces of wood or concrete, we plan to swap decent gratings from little-used drains to these places where they would be more useful. Another problem is that in some places new benches have been installed with no thought to drainage – in fact in one place the tarmac appears to be over a drain. We are digging channels behind these benches to allow water to flow past. Untitled

We have mostly finished the Lime Avenue drainage, we plan to continue around the Park. We have also been investigating near the playpark, where the water regularly floods over the path. the metal detector found a drain off to the side of the path which we have dug out – it backs up and overflows in very wet weather, but drains normally most of the time, so we plan to improve the gully to this drain to prevent the path flooding in normal circumstances. In very heavy rain the path may still flood, but we have also dug a channel on the other side of the path to allow floodwater to drain off the path.

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Before and After

Sometimes we forget what the park was like before we started work – so here’s some comparison pictures. Plus a couple of historical ones too:





Friends of Maryhill Park – Minutes – 10th Feb 2015

DRAFT MINUTES

Meeting Tuesday, 10 February, 2015
7 pm, ASDA, Summerston

 

1. The Chair opened the meeting and welcomed members. Apologies were read out and accepted.

2. Minutes of 9 December, 2014. The minutes were approved.

3. Matters arising from the minutes. It was agreed that in the future draft minutes could be circulated and posted on the park notice board as soon as they were available, although they would not be officially approved until the next meeting.

4. Update on general current activities:

a. The wetland area. After extensive consultation, LES have decided to create a smaller body of water within the wetland area which will be about 8×8 metres in extent, with its own berm (earth walls), and under 18” deep, which will be designed to last most of the season, so it will be able to support a frog population.

In answer to a question about water on Caldercuilt Road which appears to leak from the track area (not the wetland area as might have been expected), Glasgow Life said they would look into this.

b. Planting plans for the Caldercuilt Road border. A group was designated at the last meeting and lists of appropriate native plants were circulated. Anyone who wishes to contribute to the choice of plants should speak to co-chair NH by the end of February.

c. The RSPB has contacted us to ask for help with their house sparrow project. There are a few house sparrows in the neighbourhood but not the numbers previously seen, and this may be due to lack of appropriate food (seeds) as well as fewer nesting places. In consultation with LES they have chosen a south-facing slope in the Park where they will plant seed-producing wildflowers, and would like our help in maintaining this area. This proposal met with approval by the members, who asked if data from the recent RSPB garden birds survey in this post code area could be released so we could get some baseline information to compare sparrow numbers before and after this planting.

5. Update on proposed future projects:

a. A proposal for funding a portacabin in the bowling green area has been submitted to Awards for All. Awards for All have come back with a query about whether FOMP has a lease on the land. This has been discussed with Glasgow Life, and a response sent to Awards for All. If the bid is successful FOMP will need to enter discussions with Glasgow Life on a number of issues relating to insurance and the supply of utilities.

b. We have been asked if Maryhill Park could be the new home of the Maryhill Martyr monument, a monument to a young calico worker, George Miller, who was killed when participating in industrial action in 1834. This was donated by his fellow workers, stood in the Maryhill parish church yard and was a listed monument, but since the destruction of the church building it has been in storage. The Park would be a fitting place to re-erect it. LES propose putting it up near the Caldercuilt Road gate in a well-constructed new setting which will enhance that entrance.

[Addendum: We have now been informed that, after discussion with other Development and Regeneration Services Officers,  there is a proposal for the former church site on Maryhill Road that has a condition attached for reinstatement of the Martyr’s Monument. So it looks as if the Park will not be getting the Monument.]

6. Volunteers Update. The volunteers meet on Sundays 2-4pm. BC reported that at present they have been clearing up the banks on the Maryhill Road side of the tennis courts and bowling green area, and next will work on the big evergreen bed on the right as you walk up the Lime Alley from Maryhill Rd.

7. Any Other Business.

a. SK reported that ASAP, the after-school organisation he runs, has some spare funds which they will use to spray the tennis courts and running track to keep moss and other vegetation down. He was asked not to spray nettles, etc., which provide food for butterflies (“eco-spraying” was advocated). There was also a discussion about how to get the nearby schools involved in using the tennis courts.

b. ASAP also asked for FOMP support for a proposed corporate community responsibility day when employees are sent out to help in the community.

c. NH reported on MyParkScotland, a website which will serve as a forum for Friends groups in Glasgow and Edinburgh. He will attend a fund raising seminar organised by My Park Scotland on March 12. FOMP also has a list of future projects for which we may wish to seek funding and these will be uploaded on to the MyPark website when it becomes active.

8. Date of Next Meeting.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, March 31, at 7pm, venue to be announced later.

Volunteers Meeting – May 11th

Today’s volunteering was a bit different – instead of working in the park, we had a walk-around to look over work we’ve already done and discuss what to do next. It was very good to see some more people coming along to give their input.

Firstly it was emphasised that the majority of the work of the volunteers met with the full approval of the Friends committee, and our hard work is appreciated. Some work, such as the ‘laying’ of the overgrown beech hedge at the bowling green, was commented upon as being especially good, specialist work that the Council / Glasgow Life would never have carried out.

We need to continue to have open dialogue about the work of the volunteers, and suggestions about how to do this would be welcome. At the moment we send out these emails, put updates on the website, Facebook and park noticeboard, consult on new ideas and report on work completed at every meeting, and of course anyone is welcome to come along on Sundays to discuss what we are doing, but we recognise that not everyone has access to the Internet or is able to come to the Sunday volunteering.

Things we discussed:

– Judith updated us on a discussion with LES about the wetlands area. lES are going to reduce the height of the “berms” that are preventing water from reaching the wetlands area. There was discussion about how to retain water for longer, because we need standing water to encourage amphibians.

– Some dead-looking trees near the play park were inspected, but Judith assures us that they are Ash trees and they’re meant to look dead at this time of year.

– The shrub bed at the bottom of the centre path next to the play park will be trimmed in a similar manner to the bed a bit further up the path. At the suggestion of Judith, we will save some Horse Chestnut seedlings to replant elsewhere later.

– The bed around the Whitton St gate was discussed – suggested that we ask LES to prune the boundary hedge with the others. The laurels will be left for a year or two before pruning. In later discussion (not all present) it was suggested that we re-concrete the circular base and ask LES for a planter to sit on it.

– We discussed the wish to plant some more decorative plants under the trees, and towards the fronts of the woodland areas. It was suggested that these would have to be shade tolerant, could be smaller trees such as rowan, elder, flowering shrubs or shrubs with colourful stems, also they could be scented.

– The hollies need some more tidying work. Sarah is going to ask LES if they can use a stump grinder, but there’s a low probability of this happening so we will cut the stumps as low to the ground as possible, and try different techniques to deal with them. The litter and rubble under the trees needs clearing and raking out. There was discussion about removing the rogue (Ash?) tree in one of the hollies.

– We discussed considering measures we could take to encourage wildlife. ( A frog and a number of nearly black bumble bees were seen during the walk.) It was commented upon that nettles are good for wildlife, so only those at the front of the beds at the Bowling Green will be tackled. There are other plants and methods we could use to encourage wildlife, such as buddlea for butterflies, various flowers for bees.

– It was emphasised that we have an obligation to ensure we don’t disturb nesting birds when we’re working, though no sign of bird nesting was observed in the hollies.

– In the bowling green, we can do some tidying up for the summer fair – hack back the nettles temporarily.

– The idea of a path from the bowling green up to the trig point was discussed, as a possible volunteers project. Also discussed was the idea of asking Glasgow Life about the fencing at the bowling greens, with the aim of making it look neat and not derelict, perhaps by moving some fence panels.

– The beech hedge overlooking the Campsies was discussed, agreed that we would let the cut stumps sprout for a couple of years then the shoots could be woven to produce a hedge effect similar to on the opposite side. Neil suggested a bench with a gap facing the Campsies would take advantage of the view.

– The large rhododendron was discussed – opinion was that it should be left in the shape it is. Suggestions were that the centre open space could be made into a hidden garden (Ben) or that the centre trees should be removed to improve the shape (Judith).

Next week we will be back to normal, working on the shrub bed near the play park.

Comet PanSTARRS

For the coming week a comet can be seen in our twilight skies in the west. Although this comet is bright enough to see without a telescope, it’s a bit tricky to spot because it is so close to the Sun.

The best place to see the comet in Maryhill Park is from near the top of the avenue that leads down to Maryhill Road, looking due west out over the allotments through a gap in the trees. I put together this image using a guide from Sky & Telescope magazine – the position of the comet may be out by a few degrees, but it’s good enough to give you a pretty good idea of where to look.

Comet PanSTARRS from Maryhill park

The best time to try and see it is between 6.30pm and 7.00pm. On Tuesday 12 March the comet will be to the left of the crescent Moon which will help guide your eye. After the Sun has set it’s worth scanning that area of the sky with your eye or binoculars. A telescope isn’t needed to see it.

If you fancy a walk over Maryhill Road, Dawsholm park offers a horizon with less trees in the way. This photo was taken near the swing park at the edge of the trees, where five paths cross at the west side of the park.

Comet PanSTARRS from Dawsholm park

If you don’t see this one, then comet ISON is coming later in the year and is looking like it might be quite a spectacle. Happy comet hunting!