Apes in The Park

[Go Ape]GO APE is a company that has applied for planning permission to section off part of Pollok park as an adventure playground-cum-assault course that charges £25 for adults and £20 for kids from 10 to 17 years of age. It would create 15 local jobs and provide income for the park to re-invest elsewhere.

The detailed proposals were discussed at a well-attended public meeting in the park, where the clear majority was enthusiastic about the Go Ape scheme.

The city council said Pollok park was the most suitable location simply because it already has facilities for visitors, such as public toilets, parking links to the motorway, a rail station and bus routes. The council said that “it would be completely inappropriate” to consider Linn park or Bellahouston Park as they do not have the required infrastructure.

However, despite public opinion and consideration by the council, Pollokshields councillor Mr. David Meikle (Conservative & Unionist) has said:

“This scheme is highly controversial and the reaction to it has been unbelievable.

“The savepollok park.com website has seen 320 votes against and I’ve had 100 letters of objection.

“This application should be put on hold in light of the level of public opposition and public consultation re-opened so people can have their say.”

The story “Fury Over Assault Course Bid For Park” is in the city’s evening paper.

Is it a storm in a teacup? Is this a case of nimbyism by the posh, Tory-voting folks who live nearby?

Look, all I know is that in the past, there was just as much or even more “fury” over the building of the Burrell Collection there, and then the huge fuss over the building of the M77 (see Traffic Calming).

In each case, the claims that the park would be ruined or destroyed were proved false, and the M77 has proved to be an excellent idea, the museum has been award-winning and a fantastic addition by all accounts — and still Pollok park remains Glasgow’s largest park (and the only Country Park within Glasgow). Its extensive woodlands and gardens mean that there is still plenty of room for Go Ape — which will not make any permanent difference.

[Best Park award]It seems to me that the go-ahead thinking of the parks department has created a very special park indeed — and one that got Pollok Country Park voted the Best Park in Britain for 2007.

I personally think it is an excellent idea — and one in keeping with getting today’s fat, lazy kids off their arses in front of their wiis and Nintendos and out into the fresh air. Glasgow has to compete with Renfrewshire’s excellent Xscape — and where better than the well-served Pollok Park? Who knows, maybe people will pop in to the Burrell while they’re there — or use the rest of the park on a summer’s evening.

  • Public Parks are for everyone to enjoy — not just winos and gays.

Things are getting worse when people want to create a stir and public outcry over something like this – are there not a million other things far more important to bother about? Anyway there will be a public meeting on 22 January 2008 in Pollokshaws Burgh Hall at 19.30 if you care to go along and moan.

7 Responses to “Apes in The Park”

  1. Allen Taylor Says:

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Allen Taylor

  2. Bill Says:

    Meikle is the only tory on the council, so it is just mischief. According to STV news, Go Ape can only take a maximum of 14 bodies at a time in good weather, and would affect 30 trees out of an area of several thousand trees. The car traffic to the north wood area being looked at for this would be in the region of about three per hour on average. It seems unlikely that it will be fully operational as the weather is not great all year and the prices seem high to keep away the riff-raff. I really do not see why this has exploded into such a major story!

  3. Sound Familiar? Says:

    Go Ape – Mohammad Sarwar gives his view
    28 January, 2008 – 17:08 — Jo H

    On Friday, Glasgow Central Labour MP Mohammad Sarwar got in touch with G41 to tell us why he’s supporting Glasgow City Council’s plans to bring the Go Ape adventure course to Pollok Park. Here’s what he had to say.

    There has been considerable publicity and not a little controversy over the past several days regarding the City Council’s proposal to lease a small part of Pollok Park for the development of high wire forest adventure course. I would like to make it clear that I have always supported this proposal and, despite the recent furore, will continue to do so.

    Glasgow City Council has an excellent record for the sensitive maintenance and development of the parks in its care. The accolade of “Best Park in Britain” was won for Pollok Park under the stewardship of the council.
    Parks should be places where people of all ages and from all backgrounds can enjoy fresh air, exercise and the delights of nature. By definition that objective will necessitate a wide range of provisions and attractions which are appropriate to the location and environment of the particular park.

    Go Ape run similar extremely popular courses at 12 sites across the country, including one at Aberfoyle. They have won various awards, including recognition of their environmental sensitivity. It seems to me only sensible that the council enter in to an agreement with an organisation with some expertise and a proven track record in developing such a project.

    Much of the opposition has been based on a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the scheme. Pollok Park is some 361 acres in extent, the aerial course and zip wires involve an area of around 3 acres, less than one per cent of the total. The North Wood and Glade will continue to be an open area of forest available to all. Despite suggestions to the contrary, the woods will not be fenced off and dog walkers, ramblers or joggers will not have to pay for the privilege.

    Daily we hear of the mounting crisis of obesity, particularly among the young. We must do everything that we can to encourage young people, and some of the not so young, to leave the comfort of their homes and enjoy the pleasures and benefits of healthy exercise. As part of an integrated strategy, Go Ape is a commendable addition to the growing range of facilities in our parks and will, in time, be viewed as an excellent addition to a superb park.

  4. Getting Worse-- "Stirling Maxwell Forest Park" Says:

    […] Cross Ref […]

  5. Big Gordie Says:

    Following on from the Britain’s Best Park award in 2007, Pollok Country Park was crowned Europe’s Best Park 2008.

    Pollok Country Park beat off strong competition from parks in Italy, France, Germany, Poland and Sweden to lift this prestigious award.

  6. Gianni Says:

    Councillors voted 14 to 6 in favour of the planning application from Go Ape, so it’s going ahead. Pollokshields Conservative & Unionist councillor David Meikle has since resigned from the Planning Committee as a result!!

  7. Dave Says:

    Poor old David Meikle, always on the losing side! haha!
    “Bid to halt flats plan looks doomed” (Evening Times),
    “Mr Meikle is demanding the plan should be refused and a halt put on building any more one or two-bedroom flats in the area until a planning blueprint for Pollokshields has been drawn up.”

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