Living with Water and Wildlife

May's blog comes from Ivan Clark at Scottish Natural Heritage, talking about an innovative water management project which they have supported through development and now into the implementation phase.

Southside Housing Association, in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage the local community and Glasgow City Council, is transforming a currently underused open space in Glasgow to help manage surface water and create new opportunities for people and wildlife.

The space around the two high rise blocks at Queensland Court and Gardens, Cardonald, suffers from excess surface water making the outdoor space limited and often unusable. In addition, the area has poor parking facilities and limited play opportunities for young families. This is set to change, with an investment award of £537,215 from the ERDF Green Infrastructure Fund. This will transform the green space, improve play facilities and parking as well as helping to manage extreme rainfall events that are likely to become more common as a consequence of climate change. Queensland Court and Gardens is also benefitting from being a pilot site for the ‘10,000 Raingardens for Scotland’ project.

Since the award was made last August, a design team, comprising SWECO, RaeburnFarquharBowen and Glasgow City Council Flood Management Team have been working with the community to design improvements including a surface water attenuation basin to reduce flooding risk, new accessible paths (including stepping stones over the basin) and a natural adventure play area.

In addition, Southside Housing Association will be submitting the project for a ‘Building with Nature Award’. This will assess the project in terms of its contribution to ‘the three Ws,’ Wildlife, Water and Well-being. The design team is also contributing to a SNH/ SFHA project exploring the costs and benefits of such interventions. In particular the team will be quantifying the long term maintenance cost of the new ‘green infrastructure compared to maintaining the current ‘mown-lawn’ approach to landscaping.