WE the undersigned welcome the decision by the Scottish Government to call in for determination the proposed development plan for North Kelvin Meadow. This is a positive step forward and we are now asking the Scottish Government to hold a full inquiry into the future of this land and to protect this site indefinitely from any future residential development.

The land has a long history of use and community will to save and repurpose the space, dating back to the late 1990’s. Presently, the land is supporting a community-led initiative that brings 22 schools and nurseries as well as playgroups onto the land each week, trains teachers and local people in outdoor learning and is a resource for groups with additional support needs, asylum seekers and the elderly. It hosts regular events, organises food growing and has over 200 volunteers. It has achieved charitable status, won national awards, and is successfully seeking grant funding. All this community passion and action are driving an immense long-term investment for the City and its citizens, yet are costing it not one penny.

Having access within urban communities to green space like the Meadow are vital for addressing some of the most urgent 21st Century needs such as reducing health inequalities, food poverty, social isolation and crime as well as increasing well-being and the connection that children and young people have with nature. These places make people happy and well. We need more spaces like these in cities, not less. This is why we are calling on the Scottish Government to protect this site against speculative residential development in perpetuity.

Saving North Kelvin Meadow and The Children’s Wood is a great example of community empowerment and will encourage communities elsewhere to save or re-purpose land for the common good. There are other sites under threat across Scotland’s cities and many other potential spaces for communities to cultivate and love. We want the Scottish Government to promote the economic and social value that such urban green spaces can give to communities: a value with far broader, more sustainable and lasting returns than property development. A flourishing society demands the protection of places like the Meadow and Wood.

We call on the Scottish Government to hold a full public inquiry into the circumstances under which this land that has never been built on and has been neglected by the city council for 20 years came to be sold for private development. North Kelvin Meadow must be preserved as an open space so that it can be enjoyed by the community for years to come.

Tam Bailie, Children’s Commissioner for Scotland; Emeritus Professor Gill Scott, Glasgow Caledonian University;

Prof Mark Reed, Professor in Social Innovation, Newcastle University; Prof John McKendrick, Glasgow School of Business and Society, Glasgow Caledonian University; Professor Eleanor Gordon, Economic and Social History, The University of Glasgow; Professor Alexandra Shepard, School of Humanities, The University of Glasgow; Professor Lynn Abrams, School of Humanities, The University of Glasgow; Dr Carol Craig, Director of The Centre for Confidence and Well-being; Dr Niamh Stack, School of Psychology , The University of Glasgow;

Sue Palmer, Writer and literacy expert, Upstart campaign; Dr Margaret Sutherland, School of Education, The University of Glasgow; Monica Porciani Lecturer, School of Education, University of Strathclyde; Dr Henry Noltie, Botanist; Julia Donaldson, Author; Alan Sinclair, Economist, The Work Foundation; Iain Abercrombie, Head of Faculty for Creative and Digital Industries, Glasgow Kelvin College; Scottish Network for Able Pupils; Marguerite Hunter Blair, CEO Play Scotland; Alasdair Gray, Artist and Writer; Bernard MacLaverty, Writer; Cathy Forde, Writer; Andy Wightman, Writer; Tam Dean Burn, Actor; Kate Dickie, Actor; Alec Finlay, Poet; RM Hubbert, Musician; David McCluskey, The McCluskey Brothers; Alex Neilson, Trembling Bells; Paul Thomson, Franz Ferdinand; Richard Wright, Artist; Dr Sarah Lowndes, Writer; David Hayman, Actor; Christine Grady, Heritage Manager, Maryhill Burgh Halls; Amanda Patterson, Director, The Hidden Gardens; Gregory Chauvet, Managing Director, The Bike Station Norman Armstrong, Managing Director, Freewheel North; Laura Fraser, actress; Emily Cutts,

c/o Flat 2/2, 259 Garrioch Road, Glasgow.