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Plans for Scotland’s largest urban nature park took a big step forwards today with the offer of a £256,000 development grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The funding will help take forward plans for the park, and support work on a second application for £4.2 million of HLF funding to deliver the Seven Lochs vision.

The Seven Lochs Wetland Park will span the Glasgow City and North Lanarkshire boundary between Easterhouse and Coatbridge. The area can best be described as a ‘hidden heritage gem’, and HLF funding for the Seven Lochs Heritage Project will help highlight the fantastic range of history and nature in the area. As well as taking its name from the seven lochs in the area, the proposed park includes one of Glasgow’s oldest buildings, the medieval Provan Hall in Easterhouse, and the woodland walks of Drumpellier Country Park on the edge of Coatbridge. Added to this are 5 local nature reserves, Iron-Age archaeological sites and a network of paths.

Success for Seven Lochs - View across Hogganfield Loch 

 View across Hogganfield Loch

The HLF award coincides with the launch of a new Seven Lochs project website - www.sevenlochs.org - featuring photos, video and music created as part of the Sound Out @ Seven Lochs project. The Sound Out project, which was supported by Creative Scotland as part of the Year of Natural Scotland 2013, brought together local schools and music groups to create music to help promote the Seven Lochs, and raise awareness of the area’s amazing heritage.

A vision and plan for the Seven Lochs Wetland Park has been developed, setting out how the area’s heritage buildings and nature reserves could be protected, improved and brought together to create a new visitor attraction of national significance. New paths and visitor facilities are planned, along with a range of activities to help local people and visitors enjoy, learn about and help to improve the area’s heritage.

Over the next 12 months the Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network Partnership (GCVGNP) will work with the Seven Lochs Partnership, which brings together Glasgow City Council, North Lanarkshire Council, The Conservation Volunteers Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland, and Scottish Natural Heritage, to secure the funds needed to create the park.  GCVGNP will also work with landowners, communities in and around the park, and local volunteers to develop plans for the park. Glasgow Building Preservation Trust will advise on restoration plans for the medieval buildings at Provan Hall.

Scott Ferguson, Development Officer for the Seven Lochs Wetland Park said;

‘This HLF award is fantastic news for the Seven Lochs area. It recognises that it is a great place for heritage and wildlife, and that the area should be protected and improved so that more people can enjoy and learn about it. We now want to work with local people to find out how plans for the Seven Lochs can help bring a range of benefits to communities in and around the park.’