Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Greenoakhill community wood gate disappointment

I hadn’t had a chance to make any return visits to the new Greenoakhill community wood and wildlife haven I wrote about last year.

See also…

Greenoakhill explore

Greenoakhill explore Part 2

Part of the reason is down to the fact that I have to walk past a perfectly good that accesses the area, and carry on for another half mile or so until I double back and eventually reach the ‘proper’ entrance at Daldowie.

I can also enter via a gate at Carmyle, but that’s just as far to go, before I’ve even get into the place.

I had looked forward to the supposed completion of works that would see the Greenoakhill gate made available, but it now seems that’s not going to happen. I’m probably wrong, but I thought this was going to be opened once the works here were completed.

If I ever want to use it, it seems I have to apply…

Hamilton Road Entrance: Site access on Hamilton Road just west of The Mailcoach. To arrange access please contact the Scottish Lowlands District Office.

This was what I found on New Year’s Day, when I took a look in hope of the gate being open.

Just the same as last year.

Greenoakhill Gate Disappointment

Greenoakhill Gate Disappointment

It’s a pity this gate is not being made more available.

It takes the fun out visiting this wood, having to walk at least an extra mile before you get there and can enjoy the quiet walk within.

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03/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Greenoakhill explore Part 2

After the partial frustration (and success) of my first visit to Greenoakhill, the arrival of a decent day and little more to do than watch paint dry meant I was able to complete a rapid follow up visit, and satisfy my own curiosity about the ‘other end’ of this development.

Please see the original Greenoakhill explore post for the full background, links, documents, and maps relating to this walk.

I started off in Carmyle as there is no clear indication of where the gate is located in the documentation:

Carmyle Entrance: There is a gate to the south-west of the site, which gives access towards Carmyle. Access to the site is over privately owned informal trails, so we’re afraid a high standard of path cannot be guaranteed.

Although I have explored this area in the past, I’d never gone very far past the derelict railway viaduct that carried the long gone Caledonian Railway across the River Clyde. The structured footpath ends at the viaduct, and ground tracks leading along the riverbank thereafter are faint, and disappear into trees.

I reverted to the more identifiable path which can be found along the old (closed) Kenmuir Road. This can still be found on maps, and begins at the corner of Carmyle’s Estate Road and River Road.

This old road leads to some derelict and ruined cottages which I explored years ago, but could then go no further thanks to a stone wall and dense undergrowth, and nothing worth the effort of getting through.

The wall is still there, but has decayed and can be passed easily. This allows the perimeter fence on the M74 side of Greenoakhill to be reached.

As the far east end of this fence and its locked gate had ended my previous walk, I decided to follow the fence, and eventually arrived at the same locked gate.

(Incidentally, this is the WRONG way to go if you arrive via Kenmuir Road. You should turn RIGHT when you see the perimeter fence and this will take you to the Kenmuir access gate without waking around the whole enclosure).

This time, I carried on around the perimeter, aiming to go back to Carmyle by following the River Clyde side of the fence.

Of slight concern was the fact that a repair I had seen in the fence during the first visit (and declined to photograph) had been broken through again.

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Fence Break Lagoon Side

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Fence Break Lagoon Side

As I headed back to my starting point, I found the Kenmuir access gate, and was surprised to find it was NOT locked, and this area could be freely entered.

As can be seen in the pics below, there is no real path to the gate, just a lightly worn narrow track in the grass.

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Access Gate And Paths

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Access Gate And Paths

From within.

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Behind Access Gate And Paths

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Behind Access Gate And Paths

Just to confirm, this gate has no lock of any sort.

Greenoakhill Unlocked Kenmuir Access Gate

Greenoakhill Unlocked Kenmuir Access Gate

I recorded the unlocked condition of the gate after the first thing I spotted while following the path was this obvious break in the fence, made from outside. For ‘obvious’ reasons?

There are deer roaming here, but they’re not likely to roll back cut sections of fence.

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Perimeter Fence Break M74 Side

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Perimeter Fence Break M74 Side

There’s a handy seat at junction in the path.

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Area Seat 1

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Area Seat 1

The path continues to rise, offering a view back towards the east end of Glasgow over the M74 – and a sign for the Tollcross and Rutherglen turn-off.

Incidentally, before I can have a walk around this haven, I have to have a walk from the high flats seen on the right.

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Path Beside M74

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Path Beside M74

The path carries on to a second seat, and rejoins after the earlier split.

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Area Seat 2

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Area Seat 2

The view from this seat.

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Seat 2 View Edit

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Seat 2 View

Finally, arrived at the locked gate that ended the first visit – now seen from the OTHER side, still locked.

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Lagoon Access Gate Locked

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Lagoon Access Gate Locked

Just for completeness, the other gate (service access) as seen from this side of the fence.

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Service Access Gate Locked

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Service Access Gate Locked

That’s all, as this section of the path now just loops back to the Kenmuir access gate shown at the start.

Wandering back to Carmyle, found a reminder that this is reclaimed landfill, with an underground monitoing station found in the undergrowth.

Greenoakhill Landfill Gas Sampling Station

Greenoakhill Landfill Gas Sampling Station

At first, I thought this was a jumbo sized landfill gas monitoring point, as these smaller stations are dotted all over the site, but a look inside and a pull on the cord suggested this was possibly some sort of liquid level, or water table, monitoring station. The cord feels as if it is attached to a plunger, and this moves up and down with a damped action. But there is no other indication or marking to give clues.

Greenoakhill Landfill Monitoring Station Interior

Greenoakhill Landfill Monitoring Station Interior

I tripped over an old gas monitoring/sampling station. These used to have valves and tube fittings on top, but most of them have been replaced by blanking plates, as seen here.

 

Greenoakhill Gas Monitoring Post

Greenoakhill Gas Monitoring Post

This was the GPS track of the visit and, as can be seen, there was more wandering involved in this one as I had a couple of other places to visit and collect pics of.

Greenoakhill 2 GPS Track Carmyle And Kenmuir

Greenoakhill 2 GPS Track Carmyle And Kenmuir

A reminder of the Daldowie section.

Greenoakhill GPS Track

Greenoakhill GPS Track Daldowie

And just for fun, the two stuck together, with the Daldowie section in yellow.

(Click the image to enlarge, since I’m to lazy to start uploading GPS tracks into live mapping).

Greenoakhill GPS Total Track

Greenoakhill GPS Total Track

You may be able to use this live map to zoom in and examine the current aerial view of this site (which is recent enough to show the new area), and see where the GPS tracks follow the paths, and the old Kenmuir Road.

11/01/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Greenoakhill explore

As promised, after I tripped over the Hamilton Road access.

Glasgow’s newest community woodland and wildlife haven.

Greenoakhill represents the transformation of a former landfill site into a ‘green oasis’ on the edge of the east end of Glasgow.

The first phase of the restored site is has now been opened, with newly planted trees, paths and benches, where visitors can now wander through newly planted woodland overlooking the banks of the River.

Refer to Forestry Commission Scotland’s Greenoakhill web page for current details as the project proceeds.

Download a pdf file illustration of the site, its layout, and access points.

History

Ten years after quarrying began on former farm land in Mount Vernon in 1948, landfilling began on the site which continues to the present day. Work to restore the site to woodland by Forest Enterprise Scotland on the site started in 2010, with the planting and installation of paths on the sections south of the M74. Then, in 2016, a path connecting the sections on the south side was installed around the lagoons whilst, north of the motorway, new trees were planted.

January 2018

The south side of the site is now open for the public to enjoy, through gates at Daldowie. Public access to the remainder Greenoakhill will be introduced in phases in the coming years.

Note that there is actually NO ACCESS from Carmyle at this time. All gates are locked, and the paths are not complete, especially in the area of the lagoon,

Arriving at the Daldowie gate.

Greenoakhill Daldowie West Entrance Gate

Greenoakhill Daldowie West Entrance Gate

A closer look at the sign and gate.

Greenoakhill Daldowie Gate And Forestry Sign

Greenoakhill Daldowie Gate And Forestry Sign

Consideration for unfit ‘townies’ out of their element. A nice seat to recover on at the top of the first hill, and soothing, comforting sounds from the M74.

Greenoakhill Seat

Greenoakhill Seat

Not really part of this walk, but I’ve always wondered what the waterworks looked like close-up. There will be less to see in summer, once the greenery has sprouted and screens the works.

Daldowie Waterworks

Daldowie Waterworks

Just a little more waterworks.

Daldowie Waterworks

Daldowie Waterworks

Technically, this locked gate marks the end of the accessible area.

But while I was there, I spotted locals walking their dogs, and followed through the hole in wall, where a slat has fallen down.

Locked Access Gate 1

Locked Access Gate 1

I love finding these near hysterical warning signs, forced on more sensible people by corporate layers who undoubtedly hope to rely on them as a defence one day, when somebody does something really really silly.

Overhead Power Line Warning

Overhead Power Line Warning

No lock on this gate, and the fence isn’t much of a barrier, so on we go.

Sign Detail

Sign Detail

Greenoakhill Lagoon Access Gate

Greenoakhill Lagoon Access Gate

Now that’s interesting, a nice set of steps down the banks of the River Clyde.

Greenoakhill Water Sampling Point

Greenoakhill Water Sampling Point

The lagoon referred to on the site plan. The River Clyde is on the right in this view, and the waterworks are in the background.

The road leading to the left leads under a bridge carrying the M74.

The path and (currently locked) access gates are already in place there. This route will be much more convenient for access when the next phase of work is completed as it will provide access from Hamilton Road, instead of having to walk to Daldowie, or Carmyle, before getting into the site, saving considerable time and distance.

Greenoakhill Lagoon

Greenoakhill Lagoon

This locked gate leads to the as yet incomplete access via Kenmuir from Carmyle.

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Access Gate 1 Locked

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Access Gate 1 Locked

Out of curiosity I wandered along the perimeter fence to the left (the local dog walkers I had been following had now disappeared, so I wondered where), and came to a service access for vehicles, and had I been feeling more energetic, could easily have jumped over, presumably following those locals.

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Access Gate 2 Locked

Greenoakhill Kenmuir Access Gate 2 Locked

But, being lazy at heart, this was too much like efforts, and I knew the lay of the land ahead – it was longer, and rougher, than just turning around and retracing my steps on the mostly finished paths.

This Google Earth snapshot show a GPS track of the currently accessible path, up to the locked gates at Kenmuir leading to the Carmyle end to the left, and Daldowie on the right.

Greenoakhill GPS Track

Greenoakhill GPS Track

08/01/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Greenoakhill surprise

I often say that all I have to do is stop walking or visiting somewhere, and things will start to happen there as soon as my back is turned.

Proven true yet again…

I used to walk around Daldowie fairly often, which meant walking along the road past Greenoakhill, a long-established quarry and landfill site. According to (some) locals, the smell from this facility blighted the area and made it unlivable.

Oh wait… I am a local (lifetime) and never smelt a thing I’d have blamed on the landfill. BUT I did smell all the nearby farms, and at muck-spreading time… according to the farmers, if I can smell anything, then there’s something wrong with my nose!

It’s some time since I was here, but the last time I passed I did spot some tiny earth moving machines had arrived at this very corner, and had simply burst through the existing fencing to get onto the land (there was new temporary security fencing in place). But there was no indication of what was going to happen, and work had not really started, so no guessing.

This greeted me today, all done and dusted.

Greenoakhill Hamilton Road

Greenoakhill Hamilton Road

For those who know the area, the Mailcoach lies to the left.

At the time, I was grumpy, as you can just about see the latch on the gate has a padlock fitted (but there is a reason).

Getting in a bit closer, we can identify this new creation.

Greenoakhill Sign

Greenoakhill Sign

A quick review of the location reveals this is the first phase to open on the restored site, with newly planted trees, paths and benches.

Visitors are now invited and welcome to wander through the newly planted woodland overlooking the banks of the River Clyde, spot birds and butterflies, and enjoy being in on the start of an exciting project.

This gate is actually the service and maintenance entrance for the site, hence the lock and lack of public access.

I’ll get back for a proper look as soon as I can, unfortunately I live where this gate would make a most convenient access point, and both of the official public access point lie on routes that double the distance as they mean passing the gates while going towards them, and then having to double back to get to them.

Once I’ve seen it properly for myself, I’ll do a proper post with links, pics, and whatever.

I’ve watched various phases of this recovery being completed over the years, and even lost friends in heated exchanges after pointing out the work, which they claimed was bogus, would never happen, and was some sort of conspiracy organised solely for the benefit of the landfill owner, so that he could pocket the money and leave the land derelict and dead.

Well, it’s nice to be right, but… 😦

01/01/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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