The Friends of Victoria Park have welcomed moves by Glasgow City Council to begin clearing work that will enable the rock gardens and cliffs around the Fossil Grove to be rejuvenated.
The rock garden and pond area have been neglected for some years due to ongoing budget cuts and are in a deteriorating condition. However money has now been allocated for a contract to start the clearing work.
Chair of the Friends of Victoria Park Richard East explains: We have been in discussions with the Council’s Land Services for some time about how we can improve the gardens around the Fossil Grove. We are now seeking funds to restore the pond and establish a fernery. Ferns will be easier to maintain than formal gardens and reflect the fact that the stone ‘tree trunks’ were themselves were originally tree ferns.”
After an ecological survey is completed, the Friends aim to restore the original pond which will be lined in clay, reinstate the water feed and rebuild the rustic bridge shown in the old postcard above which was a much loved feature of the grove. Quotes have already been received for this work.
But before any progress can be made, a lot of vegetation needs to be cleared from the site. This includes weeds and bushes that are now masking the rock faces of the quarry and causing deterioration in the rock faces. This will open up the area and allow the different rock strata to be seen. Organic material removed from the site will be mulched and carefully spread on the blaes pitches area.
This phase of the work is being undertaken by specialist contractors and will start on 26 September. It is scheduled to last four weeks with some ongoing maintenance over the next two years. The Grove will look worse for a while until projects to revive the pond and estabish the fernery are well underway.
Richard explains: “We appreciate that some visitors to the site may be concerned to see so much clearing taking place but it is becoming totally overgrown. The Friends have worked with the Glasgow Geology Group to do some clearing on a voluntary basis, but this new contract which was well received recently by the Victoria Park Placemaking Group will enable a great deal more to be done and we are very pleased that this first step towards improving the gardens around the Fossil Grove is now underway.”