Everyone knows that doing enough exercise is vital for physical and mental health. Despite this, most of us are not as active as we should be. Repurposing empty and unloved spaces can help ensure everyone in Scotland lives close to somewhere they can safely exercise and relax outdoors.
The land for the Wishaw Pump Track had lain derelict for 20 years, in an area which has a known issue with high volumes of vacant and derelict land. Through the Scottish Government’s Vacant and Derelict Land Fund, funding was secured to develop the land into something the community could use again.
Creating a world-class community facility in a disadvantaged area was the work of a partnership between Green Action Trust and the Wishaw MTB Club, with the long-term vision of providing an outlet for positive engagement with young people and discouraging anti-social behaviour in the area.
Since its opening in 2018, police and fire service call outs to the previously derelict patch of land have dramatically reduced, with neighbours reporting a drop off of vandalism and anti-social behaviour. The Wishawhill Wood Pump Track facility has also brought the community together, inspiring the launch of a new social enterprise to support track-based activities.
It’s clear this development has been successful in changing perceptions, outlooks and lives, providing a place where young people are welcome and free to learn new biking skills.