Thousands of trees and shrubs are set to be planted as landscape work begins on Scotland’s largest new park.
Auldcathie District Park – part of the Winchburgh development in West Lothian – is due to open this summer.
Phase one of the new park expands over 40 acres and will include the planting of more than 15,000 new woodland trees and shrubs.
A further 400 additional trees grown by locals throughout lockdown will also be planted to create an area of community woodland.
The first phase will feature more than two kilometres of paths and fitness trails, a one-acre community garden, an enclosed dog park, and more than 11 acres of grassed playing areas with walkways linking to the Union Canal.
Perth-based Allison Enterprises was awarded the phase one landscaping contract by Winchburgh Developments Limited.
A new outdoor play park for toddlers to teens – which has been designed with input from local school pupils – will be built by Broxburn-based Russell Play.
The combined value of the two contracts is worth nearly £1m.
Once complete in 2022, the park will expand over 85 acres, with a significant part of the site reclaimed from the Auldcathie landfill – land which had lain derelict for more than 17 years.
Extensive reclamation and capping works have taken place over the last two years to revitalise and prepare the site.
The final park will see a further 15,000 trees planted and will include a variety of different open spaces, including a dedicated bike park, additional paths and fitness trails, extensive wildlife areas and a community orchard.
The viewing areas on higher ground will afford long-range views across Winchburgh and to the Forth bridges beyond.
On completion, a cafe with public toilets will be located in the centre of the park.
John Hamilton, CEO of Winchburgh Developments Limited, said: “Auldcathie District Park is one of the ‘jewels in the crown’ of our masterplan for Winchburgh and it’s fantastic to see landscaping work beginning and the first trees going in.
“We’re entering a particularly exciting phase of the masterplan now, with work on many projects continuing at pace including the canal marina which is due to be completed in spring, the new schools’ campus and five housebuilders currently on site building new homes.
“We recognise the importance of quality outdoor spaces for both physical and mental wellbeing of the community here, which is why we have invested significantly in this project.”
The masterplan also includes the delivery of three further parks. Daisy Park will be located next to the Union Canal in the centre of the village, a second in the Glendevon area to the west, and a third to the east at Hawkhill.
Spanning 352 hectares, Winchburgh is one of the largest placemaking projects currently under way in the UK, delivering at least 3800 new homes, improved transport links, employment opportunities, state-of-the-art schools, and stunning new outdoor spaces to the historic village.
A West Lothian Council spokesperson said: “We are delighted to see the first phases of landscaping taking place in the new Auldcathie District Park in Winchburgh.
“This is a significant milestone in the settlement expansion of Winchburgh, and is testimony to the resilience and hard work of the Winchburgh community, council officials and the developer team over the last 15 years.
“Auldcathie District Park will be a wonderful asset for the Winchburgh and wider West Lothian community when complete, adding more fantastic leisure and open space for local residents.”