Community comes together to fight for its green space

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It was a case of dog owners unite as residents and the canine companions descended upon Shawwood Park on Friday, October 5.

More than a 100 people turned up to show their solidarity for each other and the future of the park depends on where the new leisure centre will be build.

East Renfrewshire Council has yet to make a decision on where the Leisure Centre will be.

However, following a Facebook post to the Save Shawwood Greenspace group, residents turned up to support the cause.

Kirsti McGinlay, founder of the group, explained: “A member of our facebook group Save Shawwood Greenspace – which now has in excess of 1600 members – mentioned on the page that the council were looking for pictures of people’s pets on their website.

“We decide to post photos of our pets playing on Shawwood with the hashtag #Saveshawwoodgreenspace.

“Every post got a comment except the Shawwood photos.

“We decided to get together as a group on the field as a test to see how many people we could bring together at very short notice and put out a call for dog walkers who use the space to join us for a photo and a chat.”

Kirsti continued: “The invitation was posted at 10.30pm on the Thursday night and by 6pm on the Friday evening there were more than 50 people with their dogs. A further 20 or so joined us after the photo was taken and everyone was united in their passion to Save Shawwood to remain just as it is.”

Shawwood Park is a much loved and well used area, filled with wildlife.

“Not one person I have ever come into contact with thinks that building on this green space right in the middle of residential Newton Mearns is a good idea,” Kirsti said.

“People are up in arms about it, and the community are coming together to fight to save our much loved and widely used green space.

“As well as providing a safe place for our families to play and explore together, it is also the natural habitat for so much wildlife.

“We have foxes, herons, bats, stoats, rabbits, badgers, hedgehogs, buzzards and songbirds, and that’s only what’s been spotted recently.

“It makes no sense to subject your tax paying residents to years of pollution for a facility that they do not want. Shawwood is completely surrounded by homes and people from miles around would be affected with the disruption right in the heart of Newton Mearns.”

Kirsti continued: “We are all agreed that we do not want £40 million of our public money spent on any such facility when we can go out into our beautiful open space for free.

“Never have I felt such a sense of community as Shawwood evokes, this is a special place that brings people together and we will be working hard to ensure that remains the case into the future for many years to come.”

A community meeting is taking place at 171st Glasgow Scout Hall, Whitecraigs, at 3pm on Sunday, November 4. At the meeting there will be the chance to sign a hard copy petition, access letter writing facilities to send the council your views and enter discussions on the future of the park.

For further information, search ‘Save Shawwood Greenspace’ on Facebook.