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Cadder Woods

A multi-phase project to make Cadder Woods a safe, accessible and enjoyable place where nature and community can thrive.

Site History

Cadder Woods is an area of scrub woodland and planted trees lying between the Forth & Clyde Canal and the community of Cadder on the north edge of Glasgow. The site is a product of an industrial past where a once shallow marshy loch was partially covered over by waste from iron works and then lost altogether as a result of the increasing demand for space for the expanding community. Nowadays there is a 14 hectare area of regenerating trees, and some that have been planted, criss-crossed by a series of trodden paths.  It is also formally classed as derelict due to the level of neglect and disturbance associated with its industrial history.

The woodland is at the same time a great local resource, a place to experience wildlife, and a barrier. The littering and dumping in the woods can make it threatening, and there are limited lines of sight and so it can feel unsafe. The trodden paths can become muddy and overgrown. Yet if you go through it or round it from Cadder, you also arrive on the Forth and Clyde Canal towpath, and this opens up routes to Maryhill via the new Stockingfield Junction bridge and the Hamiltonhill Claypits Nature Reserve, also providing access to a wealth of service centres and destinations in the north of Glasgow.

In 2022 Green Action Trust was asked by Glasgow City Council, the landowner, to review the future management of Cadder Woods and develop it as a community resource.

Project Updates & Milestones

The Scottish Government has announced the award of over £0.5 million in 2023-24 to support the regeneration of Cadder Woods from its Vacant and Derelict Land Investment Programme (VDLIP). The funding is part of a two-year programme with a total value of £772,700 from the VDLIP to transform the site into a fantastic facility for all the local community and visitors to enjoy. Work now continues to secure further match funding with an aim of starting work on site in the early part of 2024.

To learn more about the 2023 VDL Investment Programme funding, visit the Scottish Government website.

Following the consultation events and formation of plans for the site, a stage 2 submission was made to the Scottish Government’s Vacant and Derelict Land Investment Programme (VDLIP) to fund the project.

Consultation events have been held with the local community, including a survey, six led walks, a display at the Cadder Gala Day, stakeholder meetings, and face to face discussions.

The feedback gathered and an outline of the plans are summarised here.

The first step in securing funding from the Scottish Government’s Vacant and Derelict Land Investment Programme (VDLIP) was made. This was subsequently approved in September 2022.

Looking Ahead

The long-term objective is to make Cadder Woods a place that local people can enjoy to its full potential, and also encourage visitors to discover and enjoy the space. Click on the image for a detailed view of the plan. Some of the key features of the regenerated site will be:

  • Woodland managed to improve its quality as a habitat and ensure its long-term resilience
  • Wildflower meadow areas on open space to encourage insects and pollinator species
  • Improved paths, some tarmac surfaced, so that people feel safe exploring the woods and they can be enjoyed by people of all abilities
  • An outdoor teaching area for the local primary school to use
  • Sensory features and natural play features throughout the wood to encourage exploration by children and families
  • A ramp connecting Cadder Woods to the canal towpath to shorten the distance to north Glasgow destinations

Work is underway to access additional funding from Sustrans to support the costs of developing active travel routes across the site. This is a lengthy process but work should be gearing up in early 2024.

Meanwhile work is progressing to organise a clean-up in early 2023 and more news on that will be posted as soon as it is available.

No project like this can be the responsibility of one organisation and Green Action Trust would particularly like to acknowledge the amazing help given so far by the staff at Lambhill Stables, the NHS Health Improvement Team, and the collective support of officers at Glasgow City Council. In addition, the involvement and support from local residents and their representatives has been very encouraging and we look forward to working with the local community to realise the ambitions for Cadder Woods.

overgrown entrance off Balmore Road
Cadder Woods 3
Dumped rubbish, Cadder Woods
Cadder Woods concrete posts